For me, breakfast has always been more of a rushed snack than something I’ve treated as the critically acclaimed ‘most important meal of the day’. Although I’ll never skip breakfast, I have disrespected breakfast in more ways than I can count. Breakfast is half toasted bread whose spread cuts corners, cereal eaten dry, eaten on the way out, on the way there and occasionally, once I’ve reached my destination. Porridge has been ignored and granola, stereotyped. I’d say sorry to breakfast, but it has recently come to my attention that I should really be apologising to myself.
I only realised the error of my ways on starting work as a waitress. When learning the menu, I questioned why brunch was so dominant, to which my colleague Ron, certified Mr. Know It All, nonchalantly replied, ‘Mill Hill loves brunch’. I screwfaced.
‘What? So, brunch is not a sacred meal saved for Christmas day and American families on road trips?’
‘Yeah. Didn’t you know that already?’
Clearly not. Well what else don’t I know about the town in which I live? I thought. Was Mill Hill adopted? I didn’t say this aloud, for I’m sure Ron would have an answer to my rhetorical question. ‘Well actually…’ he’d start, just as I’d grab a trayful of dirty plates and make a run for the sink.
In times of trauma, washing dishes can be extremely therapeutic. As the silky bubbles would slide over my hands and the pile of dirty plates would diminish I’d start to think about brunch. I’d think about how brunch seems to be a great excuse to move breakfast towards lunch and about how there’s rarely any lunch food involved in brunch. The only difference between breakfast and brunch is that it is acceptable to have an alcoholic drink with one of them. Not that we do that in Mill Hill!
Brunch is, I’ve learnt, never a chore; It eggs don’t need to be woken up early for. It’s almost always social; It’s syrup dipped French toast mingles with bananas and strawberries. It doesn’t conform to schedules; often it’s available all day. Best of all, no one tells brunch that it must be healthy, unhealthy, sweet or savoury.
So, I will be dragging myself out of the house at the next opportunity for this morning meal. Perhaps, I’ll drag a friend along too, just to make a point. For I now understand what all the fuss is about and I feel that if Mill Hill has fallen in love with brunch, then we must learn to be in love with it too.