My mother has been gone for almost 28 years and one of the things I remember about her were her sayings. One in particular is, “questo o niente,” this or nothing. Meaning, this is what I’m serving or this is what I have, take it or leave it. When my children were little, I made them try everything, just a little. One time we made our son sit at the dinner table until he ate five string beans. He sat there a good long time and finally ate them. He learned his lesson, they taste better hot. Fortunately for them, they have acquired quite a discerning palate and try a variety of different foods.
This Mother’s Day I brought brunch to my daughter and her family. My daughter was traveling for business last week and invited us up to celebrate the holiday. The last thing I wanted her to do was to prepare brunch when my granddaughter had missed her mommy. On the menu was a shiitake, fontina cheese and prosciutto frittata (a Bon Appétit Magazine recipe from long ago), lemon ricotta pancakes, sweet and spicy bacon and cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto.
To make things easier for myself, I started prepping brunch on Saturday afternoon. I sautéed the shallots, prosciutto and shiitake mushrooms. Sunday morning, I gently reheated the mixture in a bit of butter and then added the eggs, parsley, salt and pepper and Fontina cheese to complete the frittata. To transport the hot frittata, I wrapped the frying pan in towels to keep it warm for the 45 minute trip. Frittatas can be served at room temperature.
For the pancakes, the wet and dry ingredients went into separate containers for the trip. The egg whites, which make these pancakes extra light and fluffy, were whipped at my daughter’s house.
The sweet and spicy mixture for the bacon consisted of brown sugar, a bit of cayenne and black pepper. This was made ahead in placed in a small container too. The bacon was cooked at her house. What is terrific about this bacon recipe is that it is baked in the oven. You can use a broiler pan, but I find a cookie cooling rack over a foil lined rimmed baking sheet makes for easier and quicker clean up.
I intended to make a fruit salad to go along with our brunch; however, some of the fruit that I wanted wasn’t in season yet. Instead of purchased a cantaloupe and wrapped some extra prosciutto around it.
When we arrived, my daughter had the table all set, mimosas at the ready and the oven preheated. Within 30 minutes, we had brunch on the table. God bless my granddaughter, my daughter said she had been eating all morning. However, she had herself some pancake, cantaloupe and tried the bacon, but she didn’t like it. It was a lovely, relaxing brunch. My wonderful son-in-law did the cleanup so I could play with my granddaughter. We visited a bit more and once my granddaughter went down for a nap, we left so they could the rest of the afternoon to themselves.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.