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
Mimosas, Spirited Tea Punch & Sparkling Fruit Juice
Cranberry & Nut Loaf
Citrus Compote with Lime Cream
Pineapple Fruit Boats
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
Pear Mincemeat Crumble
Pizzelli, Spritz Cookies & Miniature Brownies