Memories of A Holiday Celebration Past

We’re hosting a Christmas Open House this Sunday, and I’ve been quite excited planning the menu. In fact, I’ll be making some gougères after I finish this post (more about those later!). The Culinary Enthusiast and I were just out picking up some cheeses and other items for the party, and on the way home I told him about a Christmas brunch I threw 11 years ago.

There were over 30 guests, filling all the tables and chairs to capacity with some folks sitting on the open staircase to eat. The menu was a three-course wonder. I found it when we got home and took a photograph to share in this post. I look at it now and wonder where I got the energy to do all that! But it was a wonderful event, and although I was tired after everyone had left, it still gives me a warm glow to think about it.


The key is to entertaining of this nature is to carefully plan a menu you can produce without any emotional meltdowns, make as much ahead of time as possible, and have fun. It’s alright to take some shortcuts; a few of the items at my brunch were purchased. Above all else, remember that the most important thing about these gatherings is that your guests and you have fun, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the holiday season. Even if you write a food blog, the food is secondary to the people!

Looking back on the menu from that long-ago party, I see why I don’t feel stressed about our upcoming Open House where all I’ll be serving are some sweet treats and savoury bites. After producing that mammoth brunch, this event seems quite manageable even though we’re expecting about twice as many people! And, I’m looking forward to the warm memories that will come from gathering so many family and friends to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home.

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Cheer

Let’s Celebrate — the Holiday Season is Here!

A Holiday Brunch for Friends

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Continental Course

Mimosas, Spirited Tea Punch & Sparkling Fruit Juice



Cranberry & Nut Loaf

Citrus Compote with Lime Cream

Pineapple Fruit Boats

Main Course

Baked French Toast

Ham, Cheddar & Tomato Strata Sandwiches

Turkey, Provolone & Roasted Red Pepper Strata Sandwiches

Eggs Carbonarara, Scrambled Eggs & Sausages




Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Ginger Pound Cake

Double Walnut Chocolate Tarte

Lemon Mousse

Pear Mincemeat Crumble

Pizzelli, Spritz Cookies & Miniature Brownies


    • Thank you, Rebecca. I’m taking a break now … we’re in the home stretch. Tomorrow morning I bake off the frozen cookies and will prepare the spiced nuts, but apart from that things are pretty much ready. I think. I hope.

  1. I grew tired just reading your menu of 11 years ago, Mar. I don’t know how you did it — and for 30 people, no less! Your organized well enough that I’m sure there’ll be plenty of time to spend with your guests. To be sure, much of your time will be spent raking in compliments. 🙂

    • Thanks John. I look back and wonder who was that woman who did all this! I’ve been blessed (cursed?) with my mother’s work ethic and driven focus so when I’m in the kitchen it’s amazing what I can motor through. And more, 11 years ago!

  2. I’ll be thinking of you and your party tomorrow. I’ll be having my annual Christmas open house tomorrow as well. Mine starts at 1 P.M. and goes into the evening, so I’ll be doing savory little bites and desserts. Monday I’ll rest.

    • Best wishes for your open house, Karen. I’m sure it will be elegant and very well-received indeed. Lucky you for resting on Monday; I wasn’t smart enough to book the day off work 😏

    • Oh, it was. It’s amazing how many times I’ve thought of it over the years. I was proud of myself for pulling it off, but one of the best things was seeing so many people in my house, having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.

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