With thanks to Joanne Rothery.
I certainly feel like waving the Stars and Stripes after the fantastic American Brunch at Sparks Yard this morning.
The food was fantastic and the atmosphere brilliant, demonstrating what a very sociable meal brunch can be. The setting was perfect as the event was so well hosted by Andy and Holly Heggadon in their lovely home.
‘Forget about the calories’ was the order of the day as American ex-pat Charlynne Boddie cooked up one mouth-watering ‘comfort food’ treat after another.
We started with French toast with a twist, made easy to prepare with the aid of a first-class American product, EggNog, with added spices. It just melted in the mouth and I must confess it was one of my favourites.
Then there were devilled eggs, again with Charlynne’s special touch, followed by Denver scrambled eggs made with finely-diced peppers to give added colour and flavour – that definitely looked as good as it tasted.
Brunch in America often includes salads, as it aims to cater for a wide range of tastes, and we had the amazing ‘Chicken of the Sea’ – the US name for tuna, but nothing like the tuna we usually get from cans in this country. Rich in mayo, it was superbly flavoured with seasoned salt and pepper made by American company Laury’s – I think those are a must for any kitchen.
To finish off it was corn bread – deliciously light and fluffy – with honey butter.
Virtually everything Charlynne used to cook brunch came from the range of American products stocked at Sparks Yard but otherwise rarely seen in the UK. All of them help you create wonderful dishes with an unusual twist to them, easy on the eye as well as full of flavour and with a touch of pizzazz – and make it easy by taking a lot of the hard work out of preparation. After brunch I think everyone who had been there headed straight for the shelves in the shop to stock up.
Charlynne herself is an inspiration to any cook – her exuberance and passion for sharing good food in a sociable setting is highly infectious and I’m pretty sure lots of people in and around Arundel will be sitting down to a leisurely brunch in the weekends ahead.