|This morning's treat by the Backholms: Crabcakes|
Before having kids dinner was the assumed time to get together with friends. All day to clean, prep, live life and then hang out with friends for food and drinks. But since kids have entered the picture it's not quite that easy, at least not for us.
Phoebe our oldest has always been an "early to bed" kind of girl. When she was younger, messing with her schedule meant sure disaster. Luckily since she went to bed at 6pm, until little sis came into the picture, we were able to have friends over after she went to bed, put her down while they were here or put her to bed and then leave her with a sitter. Now that she's getting older, and often times when we get together with our friends it's a whole family event with other kids, we can't just shuttle her off to bed at 7:30pm, her current bedtime. Instead, she plays with the other kids until the damage control becomes overwhelming for all the parents of the tired toddlers/preschoolers involved, then a movie is put on to hopefully pacify them - if they can sit still. It works well enough and she enjoys herself, but I'm often left feeling like no one gets to see and enjoy the real Phoebe in all of her well rested wonder (this involves more impulse control and the ability to sit still, crucial details in the life of a toddler).
In steps brunch! Well really it's usually breakfast or lunch, I've only actually done brunch once. For kids who get bewitched in the twilight hours as mine do, meeting with friends at these earlier hours is great. Our girls are better able to engage and play with the other kids and less parental intervention is necessary. If your kid(s) are on a one nap schedule it's a cinch to schedule, if they're on a two nap schedule you can easily shorten the morning nap and be home for their more needed afternoon nap (deeper sleep is achieved in the afternoon nap, the morning nap has more REM or light sleep - Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child - 3rd Edition, Marc Weissbluth, M.D., 2003). We love getting together with friends early in the day because we still get nap time and after the girls go to bed to do what we want or need to do, plus we have fun with friends - it's a triple win!
Additionally, what wonderful morning confections you get to share! Who doesn't have a favorite breakfast item that they love to share when company comes to stay. Now you don't have to have overnight guests to cook those delicious cinnamon rolls - or any other excuse that you normally have to wait for to indulge in them. Instead of wine, drink fine coffee and if you want to spice it up make Mimosas or Bloody Maries. We've had quiche, Monte Christos, crab cakes and frittata paired with fruit and/or pastries, breakfast meats (a great excuse to splurge on some organic Oakland Bay Berkshire bacon from the Olympia Farmers' Market), potatoes... the options and combinations are endless and the fare literally untouched by previous get togethers (you know how you have to think of something yummy that you make well, but you don't want to serve the same thing twice).
It's not that we don't do dinner with friends anymore, because we do. It's just that having the brunch option is a nice way to mix it up with friends and not have to stretch your young children out of their normal routines as often because you can only do that so many times a week before there is no routine. So here's my vote for eating brunch with friends.
Ideas to help you get started:
Here are a few brunch drinks and menus from Sunset Magazine:
|A fun "Mimosa Make Over" by Sunset Magazine|
|Garden Fresh Bloody Mary by Sunset on MyRecipes.com|
|Here is a fancy Do-Ahead Brunch menu by Sunset Magazine.|