We all have busy lives and my family is no exception. Whether we’re working or running off to various extra-curricular activities—not to mention the fact that we’re scattered across different cities—it’s hard to find time to gather as a group. Fortunately we have holidays like Easter to bring us back together; breaking bread with one another is a great way to facilitate this communal catching-up.
Eating is such a social event. For holiday weekends my family creates our own version of brunch, which offers time for us to chat about what’s new in our lives, and to discuss (and sometimes debate) current events and other topics. My father, who is originally from Northern Ireland, always requests his favourite, the Ulster Fry, a traditional Irish smorgasbord where everything is fried—from the Irish soda bread and potato farls to the eggs, bacon, and sausage. You could probably have a heart attack just by looking at it—that’s why we only make it a couple of times a year—but it’s one traditional meal that’s certain to bring everyone to the table.
Sometimes, of course, it’s nice to get out of the kitchen. If you’d rather enjoy a holiday meal prepared by a professional chef, there are a number of Toronto restaurants serving up delicious upscale brunches for Easter weekend. If you wander down to the Distillery Historic District, the Boiler House offers its typically appealing spread—with extra holiday features like roasted turkey and apple crumble with vanilla custard—plus live jazz music. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’s brunch is always popular for chef Donna Dooher’s fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes—my favourite! Or you can shell out for an extravagant repast at Victoria’s, the restaurant at the historic King Edward Hotel. Beef Wellington and chocolate fondue are among the specials this weekend. On the more casual end of the spectrum, one of my preferred places to meet for brunch is Cora’s; if, like me, you’re one of the rare brunchers who dislikes eggs, the Quebec-based chain has many non-omelette options like pancakes, fresh fruit crepes and yummy French toast.
Whether you’re partaking in the religious Easter festivities or simply hunting for Easter eggs, this weekend is a great time to gather ’round the table to spend quality time with friends and family.