Butter my butt and call me a biscuit – Virginia serves up the best brunch

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Brunch, it’s the relaxing meal that combines breakfast and lunch. Here in Virginia, we love our southern expressions and we love brunch, especially in the springtime. But what in the world does “Butter my butt and call me a biscuit” mean? It is an expression of surprise, so if someone unexpected shows up at your brunch, you will know exactly what to say.

One of the reasons we love brunch so much is because we have so many Virginia-made foods that are perfect for this magical meal. Country ham with freshly baked buttery biscuits, juicy Chesapeake Bay oysters, spicy Bloody Mary’s and peanut soup. Y’all are all invited, just bring some sunshine and a hearty appetite.

A fabulous brunch always begins with refreshing beverages. In Virginia, we like to serve mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. Of course, we use Virginia ingredients to create these lovely libations. Virginia Fizz sparkling wine is the perfect bubbly addition to mimosas. Made by the Thibaut-Janisson Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, it is made in the cermant style from 100% chardonnay grapes. Creamy and smooth with apple and peach flavors which will blend beautifully with freshly squeezed juices for a refreshing mimosa.

Now on to a very important part of a Virginia brunch, the Bloody Mary. Virginia offers several deliciously spicy Bloody Mary mixes. Clark and Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Bloody Mary mix is made in Richmond, Virginia. There’s lots to love about this mix, rich tomato flavor with just the right level of spice. You’ll want to keep a bottle or two in your fridge for whenever a weekend rolls around.

Back Pocket Provisions, also based in Richmond, Virginia, makes three distinctive Bloody Mary mixes: Bloody Brilliant, Bloody Baja and Bloody Bangkok. Made with fresh red ripe tomatoes and lots of yummy spices, you’ll want to try all three.  My favorite is the Bloody Baja, southwestern style with sweet corn, jalapeno, garlic and smoky spices.

Peanut Soup is a fun way to treat your guests to a Virginia specialty. Just a cup will do, this is a rich soup. Famously served at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia, you can find the recipe on their website. You’ll also find recipes for their southern spoonbread, crab bisque, sticky buns and fried oysters too.

Now if you want to impress your guests with a true Virginia delicacy, serve fried Chesapeake oysters with cocktail sauce. They look so pretty on a platter, all crunchy-fried and crispy lookin’ and so very, very tasty. Serve them with cocktail sauce and Clark and Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Artisan Pepper Sauce on the side.

Next on the menu is country ham biscuits. You can serve “cats heads biscuits” (they are the size of a cat’s head) or tea biscuits (mini biscuits). Country ham can be shaved thin or fried up in slices with red eye gravy (gravy made from country ham pan drippings and black coffee). Spread a little pimiento cheese on your tea biscuits before filling them with shaved country ham. And don’t forget to butter your biscuits! You can always serve some apple or peach butter too in a little delicate china bowl with a precious silver spoon.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Novus)
(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Novus) /

Cheesy grits and a crisp fresh fruit salad are always a tasty addition to brunch too. And we never forget about dessert in the south. Sometimes, we plan the entire brunch menu around the dessert. Bread pudding, chocolate silk pie or peach crisp served with coffee in your grandma’s prettiest china cups.

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And the final course, conversation with a few tall tales and then a relaxing afternoon nap.

What’s your favorite brunch food? Are you a mimosa lover, Bloody Mary lover, or both?