It's been ages since I entertained at all... Frankly, my life is not that entertaining. Work, home, work, home. But Mother's Day was coming up, and I really REALLY love the idea of brunch food... Something about me just wants to eat a bowl of cereal morning, noon and night. That Peter Pan complex I'm experiencing as I enter my 30th year in a couple of months!
But anyway, what better occasion to get some baking done??!
I invited my mom, sister (who is a mother of two now), my dad, brother-in-law, Liam and Mia. Rafa, unfortunately, had to work.
The night before Mother's Day, I griddled up the potato cakes, which took no time at all. Nigella's recipe for similar potato cakes in Feast said that if needed, these could be made in advance, and then reheated at a low temperature in an oven. That was my plan, because I only had about an hour in the morning to get everything else ready.
I also took Nigella's advice to make the dough for the kuchen in Nigella Bites the night before and gave it a cold rise.
So, in the morning, I wrestled the dough into a jelly-roll pan (having a cold rise meant that it was hard as a rock- but anyway, I think my fridge is too cold to begin with!), went out briefly to buy smoked salmon, which apparently is nowhere to be found in my crazy neighborhood apart from the Russian superstore, and then tried to put my head together to figure out what I had to do next! Truthfully, having 'brunch' at 10am is not exactly sane, but I channelled my inner domestic goddessticity, and powered on. So, the sour cream went on top of the potato cakes, the smoked salmon on top of the sour cream, and the dill feather on the tippy top. It looked beautiful; who cares what it tasted like?!
I also put together the fruit filling and the crumble topping for the kuchen. It too looked beautiful when it came out of the oven.Blackberry and Apple Kuchen - Nigella Bites
I also griddled up some breakfast pancakes (using the ready-made mix from Nigella Express - sooo useful, by the way), and started setting the table while I fried up some potatoes and eggs on the stove, as my mom always used to serve us for family weekend breakfasts.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy the meal. I didn't love the potato cakes, because I felt them to be a bit dry and tasteless. I think more milk added to the batter and a bit more salt would have made them the perfect consistency. The breakfast pancakes were to-die-for, as usual. The toppings included various jams, maple syrup, and my new favorite, golden syrup! Mmmmm. Liam loved the smoked salmon, and ate that on top of the potato cakes. He of course called it, 'Red Fish'. I think I need to get him some Dr. Seuss stat!
My dad really appreciated my twist on my mom's potato and egg fry-up. I revealed my secrets to him after some of his prodding - use the newest potatoes you can find so you don't have to peel anything, and add some chicken bouillon seasoning to the potatoes as they fry up. Yum!
As per usual, we were really too full to enjoy the kuchen after the meal, but the little bites we did have were delicious. I do still prefer the blueberry kuchen from Nigella's New York Times articles. It was a much easier method, I found. And I am never going to give yeasted dough a cold rise anymore. The time it took me to stretch it out and de-fridge it, I could have easily made new dough from scratch and had the warm, soft as a baby's bum, dough rise the natural way. But just my opinion.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!