Brunch: Because Breakfast is Good Anytime!

In the Road Trip home the rule of thumb is: when in doubt, breakfast–at least when we need one more dinner plan for the upcoming week.

There’s just so many options with breakfast, be it for lunch, dinner, or at it’s regularly scheduled hour, and they all have one thing in common: they’re delicious! So when we needed to let go of the tapas reception idea, what do we fall back on but brunch, of course.

Before we booked Honey Lake Plantation, I needed to make sure that they were truly going to fit into the budget and that included settling on a price per person for the meal. Since they didn’t have a brunch option as part of their wedding package, we got to come up with our own menu, following the example of one of their sample menus that was at the price point we wanted to be at (just under $20 per person).

1st Course
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup served with a Bacon-Wrapped Breadsticks

2nd Course
Quiche Lorraine with a Salad of Mixed Green and Seasonal Fruit

3rd Course
Country-Fried Steak, Buttermilk Biscuits and Pepper Gravy

The third course was thoroughly Mr. Road Trip’s idea, but I had no objections to it whatsoever. There’s nothing necessarily show-stopping about the menu, but that wasn’t  really the point. Breakfast and brunch always have a cozy, comfort-food vibe to them and I think our menu will really play to that strength and let the quality of ingredients speak for themselves.

And speaking of ingredients…

I’ve mentioned in passing that I have some pesky digestive issues, always have in one form or another–it’s actually a very common issue on my dad’s side, they just call it the “family stomach”–but they’ve usually just been a nuisance more than anything. Just something that you deal with.

Until last summer when on a business trip, aka out of my usual environment, and I got very sick and I realized just how often I felt ill and just how much that affected what I did or didn’t do on a given day. And then I realized that I had been getting progressively worse for a couple of years–hindsight and all that. It should also be noted that I have two specialists I see throughout the year and have full bloodwork done every 6 months, in addition to annual check-ups, and since 2 of my diagnoses fall under the “rare” category, you can believe I’m pretty well monitored. So we still came back to it was just IBS–the catch-all of tummy troubles and not much you can do about it.

What this has to do with the reception menu, is that I heard about some research from Australia on FODMAPs, and that there was a fairly simple diagnostic diet protocol to try to see if it helped. You basically eliminate the known trigger foods for a while to reduce symptoms, then challenge the different groups to see if the symptoms come back. I talked it over with Mr. Road Trip (since he cooks every other week it would affect him, too, so I needed him on board) and right after Thanksgiving I started the Elimination phase, and it worked!  A week and a half in and I was feeling amazing, and my gastro was thrilled I’d taken it upon myself (the research is just starting to take hold here in the US) to try it and that it was working.

Then I started the challenges and failed every. single. one of them.

Which means, that in order to not be sick every day, I need to avoid a really long list of very common (and very tasty!) foods. I already knew I was lactose-intolerant, but now I needed to be stricter about that along with cutting out wheat, onions, garlic, apples, pears, mushrooms, honey, agave nectar, broccoli, asparagus, beans and most legumes, and a whole host of other foods that, in general, are very healthy and, in the case of onion and garlic, in so many things.

Let me tell you, having worked in professional kitchens before, I was not looking forward to telling a chef–any chef!–that he couldn’t use onions or garlic in my food!

Thankfully, my plan of figuring all this out way ahead of time (the main reason I was willing to give up wheat, etc. just before Christmas!) and giving the Plantation a 6-month heads-up has worked out well. They are doing their level best to accommodate my multiple food intolerances and, in fact, I spoke with Chef Bill just the other day about how we were going to handle some items (I’d requested a proposed ingredient list for the menu, just to try to spot any issues ahead of time). After our talk I’m feeling much more confident that it will be safe for me to eat at my own wedding, and am really looking forward to our tasting this week!

Did you find yourself throwing a vendor a curve ball at the last minute?

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