Years and years and years ago, before Drew and I bred three children, we had good friends who were married with three young daughters. As we lived nearby, we spent lots of time with them, mostly in their home because they were such great hosts. In the kitchen they were the ‘Dream Team’.
Then Archie was born and we moved away from the area and their lives became very busy with their daughters who were now teenagers, and with all of that and a couple of house moves between us, we sadly lost touch.
Springing forward a couple of decades, we are now living in the same suburb and recently bumped into Jen at the local beach. It was so lovely to see her again and hear that her daughters are all grown up, successful in their careers and that Jen is a grandmother of three.
Last week Jen invited us to her home, which is walking distance from where we live, for a Good Friday Brunch. I couldn’t wait.
Jen is not a low-coper. She can juggle many things at one time so when we walked into her kitchen she was just back from a swim at the beach and it was no surprise to see that in the kitchen she was making hot cross buns, a ricotta tart, corn fritters, a marmalade syrup and blanching asparagus all at the one time while looking like that’s completely normal and everyone can do it.
Also in the kitchen are two dogs who are just gorgeous and one has a toy that he carries around in his mouth and takes everywhere with him. Both are rescue dogs and after a poor start in life it’s lovely to see them being so loved and adored.
All the produce Jen buys is organic, including the artisan bread and she has it delivered to her door weekly. All the dishes were made from what had just been delivered and once everything was ready the food was put in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves.
We started the brunch with corn fritters served with smoked salmon and steamed asparagus. I do love corn fritters for breakfast. Drew was keen on the smoked salmon but I adored the vibrantly green asparagus.
Then we had the mushroom, tomato and ricotta tart that was pulled from the oven and brought straight to the table. With the tart I had the sour dough topped with Persian feta. The feta was very mild and creamy.
I didn’t need anything else but I hd to try Jen’s hot cross buns. As soon as they came out of the oven she poured over the marmalade syrup. The buns couldn’t have been more fresh and with the bitter/sweet syrup and a slather of organic butter, they were a true taste of Easter.
We stayed for quite a while, catching up and talking, with Jen refusing to let me help with the kitchen clean up and insisting we keep eating. So we did. The organic strawberries were wonderful; very sweet with a lot of juice. So different to commercially grown strawberries that are mostly dry and flavourless.
It was a very lengthy but relaxed brunch where we talked about careers and children and siblings and grandchildren and Sydney’s biggest obsession, real estate.
Now that we’re back in contact I’ll have to invite Jen over for dinner but I doubt I’ll be juggling as many dishes at once.