Hosting Sunday Brunch

Can you believe that we’ve never hosted a Sunday brunch until now? My friend Chris voiced his incredulity, and when I pondered it my own mind boggled a bit too. We’ve had weekend guests who have shared in breakfast and brunch-like meals, but never have we had people over specifically with the intent of brunching. This was the first time, and though it came off without a hitch, it was a lot of work, so we likely won’t be doing this with any regularity.

The pièce de résistance was a bowl of Pennsylvania Dutch pickled beets and eggs, but that was so pretty it deserved its own post (to follow later today). It also required a 48-hour prep time, which gives you an indication of the forethought and planning that is required – such as the baked French toast you can see above. I’m not a fan of making French toast because of all the smoke and mess, so a baked version was much more to my liking. It could (and actually should) be prepared the night beforehand, so the bread can soak up the batter.

The home fries (with onion and yellow peppers) and the frittata had to be made right before serving, which is where the stress of the whole thing surfaces. Both, however, won’t be harmed by waiting around for an hour or so – and some people prefer a room temperature frittata anyway.

This was my first freaking frittata and it was fabulous, if I do say so myself. Following the advice of various frittata experts, I cooked up the vegetables separately to eliminate a lot of the excess liquid they would otherwise bring to the dish, and it turned out quite nicely.

The deviled eggs (half with horseradish) were provided by Suzie, and I always find that the secret to getting really good deviled eggs is to ask someone else to do them. I provided the traditional brunch libations (Bloody Marys and mimosas).

We brought out the waffle-maker (as we do once or twice a year) and other people baked them up.

Is it worth having a waffle-maker if you’re only going to use it once a year? The answer is yes. At least on this morning. I’ll sing a different song when I trip over it in the attic again.

It was a grand time, and it turns out that the key to a great brunch isn’t so much about the food or fanciness of the dinnerware, but rather in the family and friends we were lucky enough to assemble. We’ll do it again when spring returns.


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