I love brunch. What's not to love? The food is good, the drink is good. There is a relaxed ease that doesn't always come at dinner parties. We hosted this time, and any time someone would say, "Please don't go to too much trouble." I'd say, "As soon as I finish flinging out this ballroom wing." But I find the process of setting the table and getting out Neel's mother's lovely dishes so wonderful and meditative. It's nice and easy to get ready for a Sunday of food and friends.
Everybody brought a dish to share, and I'm sorry, but I don't have a picture of the pumpkin bread that was such a hit. I got the recipe on epicurious.com if you're at all interested. We had a potato gratin (thanks, Ina!) and a wonderful egg dish along with the most amazing bowl of fresh fruit.
The kids all know each other. Most of them went to school together at one point and haven't seen each other in awhile. It was in the house and out of the house. In the house and back out again. All afternoon. We had a perfect fall day.
Brunch captured their attention for a bit, as did the webcam, which is where they are in these photos. They're good kids. All of them. Where else can you find a group of kids that range from second through seventh grade who can all have fun together? What a delight.
Ultimately, I'm not a very good feminist. (I know, way to jump around, right? Bear with me here.) I had a roommate once in college (isn't that when we're supposed to be all radical?) who chastised me for daydreaming with another girlfriend about the day when we'd be all grown up and at "the beach house" together. Our kids would be playing in the sand, our husbands on the porch drinking beers, and we'd be chatting in the kitchen, making everyone ham (it had to be ham) sandwiches. She saw that as a sign of my supression: me in the kitchen/he on the porch with the beer. I don't know about supression. Sounds pretty nice to me.
And then on Sunday, after the plates were cleared, the kids headed back out to toss the corn hole bags at each other and discuss the newest Harry Potter trailer, while the guys sat around the table sampling Old Smokey. Tracy, Debbie(Cate), and I moved into the kitchen. In between, "Is that your new lipstick?" and "Is it weird that my hip hurts this much?" we did the dishes and got them out of the way. Suddenly Tracy said, "You guys, we're married!" I knew exactly what she meant. Debbie(Cate) chimed in saying that just the other day she'd walked up to her husband in a store saying, "We have two kids." Like, oh my God, we have two kids. How did this happen? Here we are. As women, we know we all love each other. But also, we're married. Our husbands like each other too. They're sitting around the table together! We're grown up! We're all grown up, and here we are having brunch.
I couldn't help thinking back to that conversation, all those years ago. Had I even met Neel yet? It had to be a long time ago. Over twenty years. The men around the table, talking talking. The women in the kitchen, cleaning and talking talking. My old roommate didn't know the wonder of what she could be missing out on. Who is suppressed here? On any given night, Neel is the one breaking glassware in our sink as he does the dinner dishes. This was just three families gathered together. Gathered happily. It was perfect. The whole day was perfect. I was just where I wanted to be.