An overnight by Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County made me think about how wonderful it is to be in the country – or at the cottage or camping. Even staying at home is good on the weekend, especially a long one, when there’s a hush on Sunday morning streets.
With the delightful succession of long weekends, starting with the weekend to end all weekends, the Canada Day three-dayer, mornings and breakfast take on a new pace...and tasty doddling at the table. Inspiration for what to eat, dishes with little twists that turn any other Sunday into special occasion.
Elizabeth Pulker served these dramatic light-as-air fruit-filled puffs in the dining room of her bed and breakfast, Happiness Haven, near Wapoos on the south shore of Prince Edward County. She also included the recipe below in her recently published handsome cookbook Farm to Table Breakfast ($35 available through Epulker@kos.net or Zest Kitchen Shop in Picton).
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) milk
- 3 large eggs
- Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/4 tsp ( 1 ml) salt or to taste
- 4 Tbsp. (60 ml) butter
- Fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries or chopped strawberries, or chopped peaches, pears or apples)
- Icing sugar
Preheat oven to 425F. (225C.) Combine flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg. Use an electric mixer to beat until combined and smooth. Divide butter between two medium size cast iron pans and melt it over medium heat. Pour batter into pans and sprinkle centre of each one with 1/4 cup (60 ml) to 1/2 cup (125 ml) of fruit. Bake uncovered in oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. Makes 2 large puffs, enough for a leisurely breakfast with steaming cups of latte. You can add more fresh fruit to the baked puffs if you like, and drizzle with maple syrup if you’re in a decadent what-the-heck mood.
Swiss and Prosciutto French Toast
When there’s a crowd for brunch, this grilled cheese/French toast will get raves – from the cook because the little bit of prep takes place before guests sit down. And from guests who love the combo, especially if served with a spicy salsa or tangy and fruity chutney.
- 8 slices homestyle-type bread, about 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (500 ml) shredded old Swiss (Gruyere), Gouda or old Cheddar cheese
- 4 slices prosciutto or cooked ham
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) milk
- 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) each salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) soft butter
Evenly spread 4 of slices of bread with mustard, then top with cheese and prosciutto. Top with remaining slices of bread; press gently. In a large shallow bowl (a 13– x 9-inch/3 L glass baking dish is ideal), whisk eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Arrange sandwiches in the egg mixture; let soak for a few minutes. Turn and soak the sandwiches on the second side until egg mixture has been absorbed. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.) Brush butter over a large griddle or skillet; set over medium heat. Arrange sandwiches in griddle; toast until golden brown on bottom. Turn and toast until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Makes 4 servings.
Variations: Add thinly sliced tomatoes or roasted red pepper or replace the prosciutto with crumbled crisp bacon.
Buttermilk Pancakes with Bananas
Especially for the kids, and as easy as using a mix. An ideal way to use up fragrant over-ripe bananas.
- 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) nutmeg or cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) liquid honey
- 2 cups (500 ml) shaken buttermilk
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) mashed bananas,
2 medium-large 1/4 cup (60 ml) melted butter or canola oil
Canola oil for griddle. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl whisk eggs and honey until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, bananas and butter. Pour over dry ingredients; stir just until wet and dry are combined. Let stand for a few minutes if possible. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush with oil. Pour batter, 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time on griddle. Bake until golden underneath and bubbles rise to break on surface but don’t fill in, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and bake until golden on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Makes about 20 pancakes.Follow @SunMediaLife