champagne brunchApparently the first use of the breakfast/lunch mash-up “Brunch” happened back in 1895. Guy Beringer, a British writer, authored a piece called “Brunch: A Plea” in Hunter’s Weekly. He wanted people to gather for a late breakfast on Sundays not necessarily for the food but for the convivial experience.

Beringer had high hopes: “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

That may have been a bit of an exaggeration but there is no question that it has become a solid part of our culinary tradition in America.   Some historians have derided brunch as simply an excuse for drinking.  Well maybe so.  Famous brunch drinks include Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and of course Champagne are all associated with Brunch.

I for one love brunch and, if it is an excuse to have a good glass of Champagne or California sparkling wine, so be it.  I agree with Beringer that brunch does help us slow down and is a great excuse for being with family and friends which is so hard to do during the rest of our busy weeks.  Here then are some ideas then for you to serve at your next brunch gathering.

On the Menu:

• Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake
• Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
• Salad of Fennel, Pears, Persimmons and Fig Vinaigrette
• My Grandmother’s Cheese Blintzes
• Strata’s
• Champagne Sabayon with Fresh Berries

Get the recipes here!