Brunch, early of course

Published 10:05 pm Saturday, May 7, 2011

As is so often the case, I got to thinking about our food page the other day.

Affectionately known within the office as The Two Fat Guys’ Food Page in honor of the corpulent characters who are in charge of producing it each week (designer Troy Cooper and yours truly), the food page is a favorite part of the week for those of us whose love of food is impossible to hide under even the loosest shirts.

While I was engaged in other projects recently, Troy took control of the page for a couple of weeks, choosing for one edition the topic of brunch. I didn’t have much time to think about it then, but on a long drive with my wife last week, I found my mind drawn back to the idea — and the fact that we’d run a poll asking whether folks preferred breakfast, lunch or brunch.

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Annette, like many people I know, enjoys breakfast food so much so that she’d eat it at any time of the day, forsaking other foods to do so. I suspected that I knew her preference, but I thought I’d ask anyway, just to confirm to myself my excellent knowledge of my wife’s mind.

“Breakfast, lunch or brunch?” I asked her, confident in a quick reply of, “Breakfast, of course!” and ready to point out to her just how limiting a choice that would be.

But my wife is much wiser than I ever give her credit for, and she instead turned the question around on me, answering it for me in the same breath.

“Well, everyone knows YOU’D choose brunch,” she said. “And you’d want it at 1 o’clock, so you could sleep late and still get whatever you wanted.”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Let’s all make fun of the tired fat guy, why don’t we.

Can I help it if my internal clock is set to Alaskan Standard Time? Is it my fault that my taste buds cry out for the greatest possible variety of sensations? And just what’s wrong with putting barbecued ribs on the same plate with eggs Benedict, anyway?

Brunch is the cornucopia meal. It’s the Baptist church potluck all gussied up with white linen tablecloths and maybe even a glass of champagne to top everything off. And it can be carried off at 1 or even 2 p.m. without complaint.

Except from my wife, who by that time of day would either have given up on me completely or who would be steaming with frustration over my morning sloth.

Even so, she surprised me during our discussion last week. After considering the question for some time and then trying on a couple of answers, she said she’d prefer brunch, after all, because of its variety of options and its laid-back attitude.

“Breakfast,” she said, “feels like you’ve got to hurry up and be somewhere. And lunch makes me think of being at work.”

So as it turns out, it’s brunch for us both in the Spears household. But no later than 10:30 a.m. Apparently, we’ve got things to do, and I really don’t want to hold us up. Really. Trust me.