Right now, it’s Sunday. Sunday morning. In other words, BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH. BRUNCH!
But I have a confession to make (please don’t hurt me): I loathe brunch.
My idea of the perfect breakfast? A huge cup of coffee, a lot of water, a piece of fruit, maybe a piece of toast or some granola. Followed by a gigantic lunch four hours later. And in my perfect breakfast world, fake meals like ‘brunch’ don’t even exist. I don’t get hungry for at least three hours after I wake up, and when I am coerced into eating 4 eggs, scrambled with butter and cheese and whatever else, 2 pieces of soggy buttered toast, 5 pieces of bacon (actually, I like that bit), and lots of processed sugar and weak coffee, it makes me feel a bit ill. And the idea of going to a restaurant and paying twenty bucks for eggs and milk and bread also makes me feel ill. Also, I don’t like drinking alcohol in the mornings. You can’t make me. I love light, little breakfasts. When I was in Europe last fall, I fell in love with my friends’ tidy breakfasts of espresso and white toast with jam. That’s it. Americans are addicted their decadent, super rich, super expensive breakfasts and it makes me want to freak out. And want to take a nap.
Growing up, we never had brunch. Maybe twice a year, on Easter and Mother’s Day, and they were both buffets, so I would just eat a plate of bacon and honeydew melon and call it a day. But our breakfasts stayed the same, even on the weekends. Even now, my parents eat breakfast together every morning — they drive to Whole Foods, get coffee, sit in a booth, and share a piece of fruit and a muffin, or maybe some bread and cheese. Isn’t that perfect? It’s so simple and sweet.
So, anyway, it’s Sunday, and this is my idea of a “big breakfast,” or “brunch.” 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous with harissa paste and vegan bullion stirred into boiled water. Assortment of leftover vegetables gone into oven to roast at 425 for 25 minutes: A handful of Brussels sprouts, one floppy carrot, one potato, diced, dotted with pats of butter and lemon zest and fresh chives from my garden. Two clementines. Strong coffee.
Am I being harsh against what is decidedly the most popular meal in Portland, and an iconic meal for many Americans? If anyone has an argument for brunch, please let me know. [My Manhattan-based best friend loves brunch, for example]. I want to be a convert. I want to do the right thing. I just don’t know how.