Brunch for Beleaguered Parents

18 Jul

I was awakened around 5:45am on Sunday morning with a hankering for brunch.  In the old days, before kids, I’d have gotten out of bed at 11am, rolled out of my front door in Manhattan, and met a friend for an omelette and a mimosa.

Hardy har.

Instead, I found myself sitting in bed in front of an episode of Curious George, while my husband blearily suffered through yet another round of my boys fighting over his attentions.  Being chopped liver, myself, I was on my own side of the bed…pondering how I could salvage this morning.  Cormac turned and burped at me, laughing.

I wanted eggs.  Unfortunately, Cormac had gone on an egg binge the day before.  There were only four left, and I knew it wasn’t going to be enough for all of us.  But four eggs was a good place to start.  I began to think about what other odds and ends were in my fridge, that I could use to supplement the main feature.

Fast forward to the day before, when Dan pulled a defrosting ball of “dough” out of the fridge and said, “Um…this isn’t pasta dough.”

“What?  What else could it be?”  I scoffed.  Dan looked at me doubtfully and presented the mushy subject for my inspection.

It was not pasta dough.  My mind worked backward to call up any other dough-like substances I might have made recently and frozen.  Then it came to me.

This bag of mush was potatoes.  I had once again tried, and failed, to make proper Bavarian Knoedel about six weeks ago.  My friend Fran (who is German) had scoffed at me that day, posting on Facebook that not even Germans make Knoedel from scratch.  “That’s like making your own butter,” she said.  Well, the Knoedel weren’t good enough to blog and I froze the rest of the dough, thinking maybe I’d try again in a few weeks.  So here it was.  Mainly riced red potatoes (some cooked and some raw) somewhat compromised by a dubious period in the freezer.

Back to the king-size bed of morning hell.  As I sat there, trying to think how to supplement the eggs, it came to me.  Breakfast potatoes!  Then my thoughts turned to the box of grape tomatoes I had on hand.  Roasted tomatoes!  Lastly, there was a 1/4lb. of bacon in the freezer.  It was a go.

Here’s what I did to scrape this breakfast out of the bottom of the barrel and put some relaxation back in our Sunday.

The very first thing I did was start the tomatoes, because even little grape tomatoes need a good long time in the oven in order to get nice and roasty.  I had half of a vidalia onion in the produce drawer, so I diced it up and put it in the bowl with the uncooked grape tomatoes, tossing with a healthy splash of olive oil and kosher salt.

I then spread all the tomatoes out on the tray of my toaster oven, sprinkled a little more salt and some pepper, and stuck them in the oven at 400 degrees.

So pretty! So yummy.

At that point, I just let them roast away, stirring them every seven or eight minutes.  Next, I turned to the potatoes-not-pasta-dough.

I started by sauteeing my last regular yellow onion with a little bit of garlic and olive oil.  I figured, the sweetness of the vidalia was more important to have in the tomatoes.  When these ordinary onions were soft and fragrant, I dumped the mushy potatoes into the pan and turned the heat to medium high.  I wanted the potatoes to be nice and crusty.

All spread out with onion mixed in.

I let the potatoes cook for about seven or eight minutes and then gently dislodged them from the pan.  When they had a bit of a crust on the bottom, I separated them into four cakes, sprinkled them with chopped chives from our garden, sprayed the cakes with cooking spray, and turned them over to brown on the other side.

The potatoes cooked away for probably another seven or eight minutes.  When a crust was forming on the bottom, I flipped them again and then stuck them in the oven under the broiler.

Brown, little spuds! Brown!

With the potatoes in the oven, I turned to the microwave to make the bacon.  I spread two layers of paper towels on a plate, laid the five thick slices of bacon on top, covered with one more sheet of paper towel, and stuck the plate in the microwave on high for four minutes.

Lastly, the fried eggs.  I put out a clean non-stick skillet with some olive oil in it and turned it to medium high.  I like to spread the olive oil around in the pan with a silicone brush.  It’s easier to use less oil for better coverage.  I’m sure you know how to fry an egg, so I won’t bore you with the details.  Dan likes his over hard.  I did my egg and Cormac’s egg over easy.  William refuses to touch eggs, so four was enough.

The eggs, the bacon, the potatoes, and the tomatoes all finished at the same time.  No, really!

Succulent goodness.

To finish it off, I asked Dan to pour us some juice cocktails, which are simply lime seltzers with a heavy splash of orange juice.

Not a mimosa, but still...

It’s a great way to enjoy juice without a ton of sugar or calories.

We called the boys to the table, where I gave Cormac his egg in a custard dish, topped with yummy little tomatoes.  Of course he also wanted some bacon.  He’s my boy.

Barrel Bottom Brunch

It ain’t New York, but twasn’t bad for the burbs.

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