Let’s Do Brunch

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My favorite thing about blogs is seeing my stats. Who clicked on what. What search engine brought them here. Etc. One search that keeps sending people to my site is “brunch party”. I have yet to write about this subject, but since I consider myself an expert on all things leisure, I’ll post something. I was thinking of doing a brunch party for my birthday party (either that, or masquerade) this year. So this is how Auntie and I would roll:

For starters, all things mentioned in “How To Throw A Party” would apply. Intentions. Signature drinks. Invites etc.

– Hours on the invite would be 11am – 3pm. Everyone will show up around 11:30am – Noon. More people will show up at 4pm. Be prepared for an all day event. (This might just be for NYC. I noticed that in LA, people show up on time and are gone early. If you try to be fashionably late, you’ll probably miss out on all of the food and will arrive just in time for coffee and pie.)

– Cocktails as people arrive and food is being prepared. Mimosas. Bellinis. Bellinis w/Pear Juice. Bloody Marys. Coffee. Tea. Regular Juice. Sparkling water.

– It doesn’t matter how big your home is, everyone will congregate in the kitchen. Give them tasks. Make sure there are a lots of stools. Have crayons on hand for children or immature friends.

– Appetizers made the night before: fruit salad. mini quiches. cheeses. olives. Wasabi peas. Small yummy items. One of my director friends has these incredible brunch parties and she has chocolate all over the house. As you are waiting for the cauliflower to roast or the salmon to warm up, you definitely kill your appetite with all of the Jacques Torres. Thankfully Champagne helps with digestion.

– Big open well lit location. Lots of flowers. Bossa Nova playing. Plenty of pillows to comfort the heads of any hungover friends (and there will be.) If possible, an outdoor patio, garden etc.

– Menu should be a combination of sweet and savory. If everything gets mushed together on a plate, it should still taste delish. Omelet. Croissant. French Toast. Muffin. Jams. Salad w/endives. Goat cheese. Arugula. Mangos. Sticky buns. Lots of variety. Grilled Shrimp. Prerequisite bagel and lox. Tortilla. Gazpacho. Make your own crepes. Spicy curry vegetables. Olive bread. You get my point. I would make a max of 5 dishes and let friends fill in the holes. Make it your thing. If you love Southern cooking, by all means – make it biscuits, grits etc. Biased request: make sure there are at least 2 dishes for the vegetarians. (and collard greens cooked in beef broth does not count as “veggie”.)

– People will bring food. If they ask what to bring, suggest a dessert item. Something to enjoy with coffee. Or I’d ask for another salad. Or just more champagne. When in doubt, champagne. (Prosecco. Cava.) It should be something simple for them to prepare/bring. If they are planning on contributing something extravagant, they should provide the serving spoons etc. Just to cover your butt, if you have an inkling that someone is planning on bringing a souffle, fondue or roasted pig on stick, ask them if they need any time in the kitchen or special plates/service. It is their responsibility, but instead of reminding them of this fact, its better that you be prepared with all necessary items.

– The party will begin to fade out around 430pm (again for NYC. Lord knows about LA. This is based on my friends in both cities. You should know your group and how they usually participate in parties.) If you don’t mind the company, I’d suggest having some dvds ready to view for the lingering crowd. Or a game on tv. Jacquzzi. I love lingering crowds at my home. I don’t mind if they stay ’til dinner. (so have lots of take out menus). Or have a board game. Balderdash? If you don’t like lingering crowds, have suggestions of where to go next. An art exhibit. A movie. Lounge in the park.

Side note: if you are doing a brunch party at a restaurant, I strongly strongly suggest you find a spot with a Prix Fixe. Many many years ago when all of my friends had ridiculous amounts of free time, about 25 of us got a table at Bowery Bar (it started off as 8 people, and we kept calling friends and telling them to stop by. Again – the days before PhDs, children and responsibility.) It was one of my favorite times in NYC ever. People kept showing up. We kept ordering champagne. Lots of food, sun. It was phenom. And when the bill came, everyone knew that they owed $25. Easy.

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~ by Cybel Martin on March 2, 2007.

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