Sunday, May 24, 2009


I rather like these strawberry cinnamon muffins I made last week. They smell fantastic and are the perfect addition to a brunch menu, alongside some deviled eggs, a salad of mixed greens and cold bay shrimp with a lemony vinaigrette, and a leek and onion quiche.

Brunch is probably my favorite meal of the day. I say probably because if you ask me the question while I'm devouring creamy broccoli mascarpone soup, then soup would be my favorite meal. And if I happen to be savoring a spoonful of almond ice cream then dessert would be my favorite meal. And I have a weakness for appetizers, canap├ęs, and foods that are cute.

But when no immediate food is set before me and I can state an unbiased opinion, brunch is always my favorite meal of the day. It's my favorite meal to go out for, it's my favorite meal to cook, and it's my favorite time of day to eat. Mid-morning my appetite is at its peak.

My friend Huzefa once asked what exactly defined brunch. Brunch doesn't exist in India where he grew up, and he wanted to know why we had to go out for brunch instead of lunch. Technically brunch is defined as a meal that replaces both breakfast and lunch. Eating anything before it qualifies your second meal of the day as lunch, not brunch. But brunch connotes so much more than that. It is hot tea and croissants and smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and fruit. It is pancakes and waffles thick with syrup and whipped butter. It is wearing wool sweaters in January and waiting 45 minutes for a table at a favorite restaurant that never has enough tables but has wild rice porridge on the menu. It is sitting outside on a summer day eating an organic egg omelet and free range chicken sausage. But most of all, it is making something at home as simple as challah french toast.

Brunch is scents too, the smell of coffee, of cinnamon rolls, of sizzling bacon, of banana bread. It's good in the rainy season, it's good on a snowy Christmas morning, it's good on a hot summer day when all you can eat is a cold plate of deli meat and cheese and fresh berries. Have you noticed that just about anything qualifies as brunch food? No wonder Huzefa was confused - brunch couldn't be defined as a particular food so much as a particular feeling. It evokes coziness and satisfaction.

Maybe I love brunch because it means it's the weekend and I can take things easy, sleeping in a little and then eating good food. What could be better than that?

Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins

*Don't be afraid to add plenty of strawberry jam because it won't seem like enough after they're baked.


  1. Yeah, that muffin really wants me to gobble it up. The way it's just staring at me. yummers. Shalaka, you might like The Dinner Hour, my friend Amy's foodie blog. xoBonnie

  2. I can't tell if that's sarcasm, but seriously those muffins were delicious.

    I'll check out your friend's blog - I'm always looking for new sources of recipes.