Such a glorious combination: good friends + good food.
There's nothing I like better than hosting a friend (or two), whether it's for coffee, dinner... or brunch.
This weekend a lovely blog friend of mine, Deb (she of the magical hug-giving quilts) made a pilgrimage to Auckland to escape the -2oC temperatures of Christchurch. (We northern softies have been shivering in our ugg boots at our frosty 11oC mornings, but Deb felt her spine un-thaw for the first time in months, when she landed here, apparently).
|[Photo by Deb]|
Anyhoo, she was here, she had a free morning and she wanted to meet up.
I am on my own with three kids while hubby gads about in TinselTown. I could only imagine the stress of dragging that noisy lot to a civilised cafe and asking them to "sssssshhhhh!!" for long enough so we could have a meaningful conversation. Pigs might sooner fly.
So I did the only thing I could do: I invited her here for brunch, to my at-home cafe.
(There was a thought - briefly - of the kids playing barrista/waiter/waitress but I realised the potential for mess and mayhem in enough time to ditch that plan).
Isn't it nice to be able to welcome friends onto your own space? Show them another slice of who you are? Turn the blog-photos into a 3D animated live set?
(Give yourself motivation to vacuum...?)
I made Deb a two-course brunch. The table looked pretty set with my mix-n-match china plates, a pretty vintage tablecloth, and some blooms from a flowering tree in a little milk bottle. Deb arrived just as I was writing the "menu" on the blackboard...
Omelette with ham and cheese followed by waffles with berries and maple syrup. Plus orange juice and real (nespresso) coffee. Better than any cafe, I reckon.
Sure the waffles are from a packet in the freezer and the juice isn't hand-squeezed, but I made the berry sauce myself and whipped up the omelette while Deb and I chatted. (It's so easy; recipe below)
Deb is a very special person who I have got to know through blogging. This is only the third time I've met her in real life (and the first time we barely exchanged three words) but her kindness has touched my life on a number of occasions. Her generosity of spirit and the words of wisdom she has shared with me have made such a difference; probably far more than she knows. We share a number of similar parenting challenges but she's a little further down the road than I am. I glean so much from talking with her - practical advice, but also that rarest of treasures: hope.
So it was a privilege to sit with my friend in my windowseat, to host her in my home and to serve her up a yummy brunch. Way better than going to a cafe, IMHO. (Plus nobody asked us to leave when the kids started wrestling, which is always a bonus).
Deb blogs at Works in Progress and writes beautifully and honestly, as well as always having amazing quilts and crafty projects on the go and being a full time student (She is well known for her amazing "quilt hugs" - one of which is residing in my lounge, after I received it when I was in hospital last year).
Easy Peasy Whip-it-up-in-a-jiffy Omelette
a splash of low-fat milk
grated mozzarella cheese
shaved diced ham
salt and pepper to taste
chopped mushrooms (optional)
- Preheat the oven on "grill"
- Whisk the eggs together with the milk, salt and pepper
- In a large frypan, melt the garlic butter on high until sizzling, then reduce heat to medium and pour in eggs
- Sprinkle over diced ham (mushrooms if you have them) and grated cheese
- Allow to cook through until beginning to set then move the frypan under the grill to cook the top
- When golden and bubbling on top remove from the oven and serve on toast with chutney on the side
*(if you are happy to generously share some with your kids because you know there are also waffles on the menu and that way they will not complain and will leave you in peace to talk to your friend)
Berry Topping for Waffles
approximately a cup of frozen mixed berries
the juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of sugar
a dash of water
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan on a low-medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until softened and combined. Serve on waffles - the frozen kind are just fine.
FOR PERFECT FROZEN WAFFLES (that would cost heaps in a Cafe):
Toast your frozen waffles on number 2. Any more than that they will be too dark, bitter and burnt.
When popped, drizzle over maple syrup, then top with berries and a puff of squirty cream.
Yum Yum Yum.
|[Photo by Deb]|