I would like to take a moment this morning to love on all the mamas in the world. Dear god, how do you do it? Today’s shout out to mothers isn’t just because Mother’s Day is in a month or so, or because I love to make this dish for Mother’s Day, or even because my mum is coming in to town this weekend (although all of those are indeed excellent reasons to feature this dish and throw love to all our mums).
Nope, today I am giving you mothers, nay, all parents, an official Port and Fin tip of the hat because HOW.
I’m reminded of that jar analogy they used to tell us in university. The students are all bright eyed and green on the first day of class and the professor pulls out a jar and fills it to the top with rocks. “Is this jar full?,” they ask.
And all of us, like total noobs who haven’t heard this before go “yes.” Because yeah, the jar is friggin’ full. No more of those rocks can fit in that jar, that is a fact.
And then the prof pours a bunch of pebbles in the jar and repeats the question. At this point the clever beans in the classroom will be all “ohhhh, I see where this is going” but for arguments sake, “yes, the jar is now totally full.”
But of course, it’s not, because then the professor pours a bunch of sand in and the sand falls into all the cracks between the rocks and pebbles. Surely we’re safe saying the jar is full now? Nope.
Finally, the professor pours a large glass of water in the jar. NOW the jar is full.
This is supposed to teach us about time and time management. It teaches us that no matter how busy we think we are, we can usually fit more in, if we learn to manage our time properly. The jar with just the large rocks was full, that remains true. But it’s also full with all the other pieces in it. Relativity. Huh.
It makes sense. Back when I was in school, I was busy- my life was a full jar. Assignments and exams, long nights, social engagements. Maybe you start paying bills- rent, phone, gas, food… Life was full.
Then you move into the real world and yeah, no exams anymore, that’s pretty good, but now you have a job to answer to. You work full time, most of your daily hours are accounted for, whether you are productive with them or not. You try and get out and be social as much as possible while still trying to climb a corporate ladder that seems to be missing a couple dozen rungs in the middle.
And then, before you know it, you start feeling like maybe your job isn’t everything. Maybe you need more love in your life. You don’t want to start a family yet, but it would be nice to come home to something. You get a dog. Or a cat. Or a fish. You get an animal.
In my case, I got my wonderful little mutt, Hannah. I wouldn’t take back adopting her for anything, but dogs are a lot of work. All of a sudden, I have limited my own freedom. If Colin and I work anywhere between 9 and 16 hours a day, we have to make arrangements so she is not left alone. Doggy day care, pick ups, drop offs, working from home, commuting, making sure she is properly walked and fed and loved. It takes up a lot of time, time I didn’t think I really had- but you find a way- and having her in my life makes me infinitely happier. She is work, yes, but she pays it back 10-fold with love and companionship.
So now my jar is completely full, right? Sometimes it feels like I can’t even keep up with things they way they are now. This week I exclusively ate leftovers (that may or may not have been verging on too-old) and buck-a-slice pizza. How do people add kids, arguably the biggest time commitment ever, to the mix?
But you do. Lots of people do, and I am in completely awe.
So here’s to the working mums, and working dads, and stay-at-home mums, and stay-at-home dads, and the puppy mums, and the puppy dads, and everyone who doesn’t have enough time in the day but somehow manages to take care of and raise little lives. It’s amazing.
Now, to the recipe. This is the perfect brunch recipe and just the thing for people who don’t have a lot of time, because you throw it together in a matter of minutes the night before. This means that in the morning, there is no scramble to put breakfast on the table for a bunch of people, all you do is pop it in the oven. YES.
I love to make this for Mother’s Day, obviously, but also pretty much any day we’re having people over for breakfast, because it means I can spend my morning hiding all my mess from the week and drinking coffee, instead of stressfully poaching eggs or flipping pancakes. Perfect.
Oh, and don’t think I forgot about you, young party animals. You know what’s awesome about this for you guys? You toss it together before you go out dancing. The next morning when you are cripplingly hungover, put it in the oven and go lie down in front of the couch. Have a coffee and a big glass of water. After a Neflix episode or two, breakfast is already made for you and that bread and cheese is going to fix what ails ya. You’re welcome.
|Ham & Gruyere Breakfast Strata|| |
- ½ loaf sourdough bread
- 5 eggs
- 1½ cups milk
- 100 g ham (I like to use rosemary ham)
- 2 cups Gruyere, grated
- 1 onion, diced and sauteed until soft and fragrant (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup Corn Flakes cereal or crushed Pepperidge Farm Savory Multigrain Cracker Chips
- Cut bread into slices and remove crusts. Lay a layer of bread down in a large casserole dish. Sprinkle ⅓ of the grated cheese overtop, followed by a layer of ham, sauteed onions (if using) and a light seasoning of freshly ground black pepper. Top with another layer of bread and repeat cheese, ham, sauteed onions (if using) and pepper. Top with a final layer of bread and sprinkle with just cheese.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Slowly pour egg mixture over bread layers. It may take a couple seconds for the bread to absorb all the egg before you can pour it all in, so pour- wait a second or two, spatula the sides a little if need be- pour more- repeat, until all the egg mixture is in the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from fridge 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle cereal or cracker chips over the top of the strata and bake for 50 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving.