Easy, Elegant Brunches

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By Cindy Edwards

Brunch, a meal that combines breakfast and lunch, is an English tradition that originated in the late 1800s.  It took nearly fifty years for it to become popular in the United States.  Brunch is a lovely way to begin a lazy weekend because it starts later in the morning and can continue to around 3:00 in the afternoon.  It is the perfect excuse to linger around the table and enjoy traditional breakfast fare with a special twist.

I recently hosted a brunch to celebrate the engagement of a special young lady and gentleman.  Below are some suggestions for a carefree and simple spring brunch.

1. Share the tasks.

I had two friends (and our husbands) co-host the event. One friend handled the bar, invitations and favors; the other handled the flowers, photographer and errands.  I took care of planning the meal, setting the table and getting the house ready.

2. Plan a menu that is easy to serve.

We set up the bar outside so that the guests flowed through the house and out to the terrace. Guests sipped Bloody Marys in pretty silver beakers garnished with a variety of olives, celery and spices. We also filed carafes with several different juices and allowed everyone to create their own mimosas.

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The meal began with a fruit salad topped with a simple yogurt dressing.  I served it in individual compotes, which made each one look very pretty. 
The main course was a spinach quiche served with roasted tomatoes and asparagus.  A simple muffin and slice of turkey bacon completed each plate.

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For the dessert, I complicated things a bit.  I had been to a beautiful wedding where every guest received his own “little wedding cake.”  I couldn’t get it out of my head! After calling many bakeries to no avail, I finally persuaded my dear friend Donna Stafford, who was also the bride’s kindergarten teacher, to bake the little cakes for the brunch. WOW!!! They were the hit of the party: beautiful, delicious and so special. 

3. Prepare the night before.

I did as much as I could prior to the event.  I had to set up the outside tables the morning of the party, of course, but I organized the dishes, linens, flowers and silverware the night before, so placing everything on the tables in the morning was easy and quick.

4. Add a special element for your guests.

I bought a local cookbook that featured Savannah artwork and asked each guest to sign it with a special thought or memory for the honored couple.  We also had favors with personalized candies for each guest to take home. 

5. Linger with your guests.

One of the great things about a weekend brunch is that most people are not in a hurry to rush out the door to an appointment.  It is the perfect time to relax with your friends over coffee and dessert.

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I hope that this spring you will set aside time to celebrate with your family and friends.  Whether you are hosting a couple of friends or a large crowd, set the date—and the table—for a brunch.  It is an easy and special way to entertain.


As always, thanks for reading.

Properly yours,
Cindy


Photos provided by Izzy Hudgins.

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 25 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a freshman at Ole Miss. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm