Countdown to Easter Brunch, part 1

Easter is MY holiday.  I don’t exactly own it (of course) but we have had our family over every Easter since G was a baby for brunch except for the year he had the stomach flu.  We opted out that year.   I love having my own holiday to host but it does take a lot of work and planning.  Did I mention that our combined families total around 25 people sometimes more, sometimes less depending on who is in town, can make it, and cannot make it.  I do not think we’ve ever hosted less than 15-20 people for brunch though.  I could have everyone bring a dish but I really prefer to just prepare it all and have it ready.  Besides, who wants to have to get up early, make a dish and transport it somewhere on Easter morning?  I should also say that preparing it all myself helps with space issues (we are short on space around here) regarding the food set up as I can easily work with what is here already to make it fit.  I always feel bad when I don’t have room to put someone’s dish out somewhere.   Since I have a few family members who do not feel right not bringing anything but themselves, I always ask them for flowers.  I do love the smell of Easter Lilies!

I love all spring flowers.  My sister brought me these last Easter.

I love all spring flowers. My sister brought me these last Easter.

Our Easter Brunch start time is usually around 9:30 or 10:00a.m.  That means I have to be organized and have a plan in place for everything to (mostly) be ready when our guests arrive.  Since I’ve been doing this for almost 11 years (!), I’m not quite as panicked about the fact that Easter is less than 2 weeks away as I probably should be. 

 Here’s a basic look at my plan for Easter brunch: 

A picture of the Easter Brunch table from last year.  Please excuse the blurry photo!

A picture of the Easter Brunch table from last year. Please excuse the blurry photo!

Easter brunch takes the entire table and spills over onto the kitchen counters.

Easter brunch takes the entire table and spills over onto the kitchen counters.

Beginning of year:  Look at the calendar, note date of Easter.  It does vary and I do prefer when it is April as opposed to falling in March like it does this year.

3-4 weeks prior to Easter:  In the past, I would look through cookbooks and magazines for ideas and start gathering my recipes sometimes testing them out on my family.   Now, I simply have a Pinterest board titled Easter Brunch Ideas that I add ideas to as they catch my eye.  Obviously, not everything on there will appear on our Easter brunch table.  I am also planning to use it as place to keep some of my tried and true recipes.

2-3 weeks prior to the date:  Start buying extra items needed for brunch basics (the recipes that I make every year) with each grocery shopping trip.  This saves having to buy everything in one big costly trip.  Sometimes, I forget to do this though.  Also, it is worth noting that it is better to postpone some purchases until closer to Easter.  Eggs ALWAYS go on sale closer to Easter as well as flour, sugar, and most other general baking supplies.

2 weeks prior:  Decide on menu items.  Some items are stand-by’s on my Easter brunch menu.  Those items are:  ham-cheese quiches, caramelized bacon twists, sausage pinwheels, bacon hashbrown bake, blueberry muffins, chocolate chip muffins, and white chocolate/mixed fruit muffins as well as fresh fruit.  We also serve brisket with buns and chips.  Other items that I am deciding on right now are:  another egg dish, 2-3 other types of muffins, cinnamon rolls, other lunch type side and dessert/table decoration snack type items.   This is the point where I am currently at in the planning stages.    

1 week prior:   I’ll make sure I have all the ingredients or mixes (you didn’t think I made all that from scratch did you?  I’m not THAT good!) for our brunch as well as plates, napkins, and drink options.  We usually only do coffee, water, and juice.   I will also prepare the ham-cheese quiches and caramelized bacon twists and place in the freezer.

The day before Easter:  I prepare all the muffins.  I know I could make them and freeze them as well but I think muffins taste better fresh (or at least only one day old).   I also make sure we have pulled all my “pretty” dishes out of hiding.  I like to use all those crystal dishes that came as wedding presents as serving dishes for our Easter brunch buffet tables.    However, we do eat on paper plates with plastic silverware because I’m not that big of a fan of doing dishes.

I will share my Easter brunch menu with recipe links once I have completed it as well as my Easter morning routine in upcoming blog posts.   Do you host any holidays?  How do you plan?    


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12 thoughts on “Countdown to Easter Brunch, part 1

  1. Kristy

    How inspiring! Hosting 20 or so people for 11 years! This year we are scaling back Easter plans but I will be sure to come back another year to remind myself how you do it. 🙂
    Kristy recently posted..Pictures from MarchMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Thanks. Somehow Easter always comes together for us even in those years when I think how on Earth? Seems to work that way with all the holidays though…

    1. Jean Post author

      I’m still working on the menu a bit. I remember that you did quite a bit of work around Thanksgiving time 🙂

  2. Elizabeth

    I do Thanksgiving though we really don’t have family in the area so we take all the stragglers. If I hear someone doesn’t have family to spend it with I say, “You’re not spending it alone!” and arrange transportation for them. Sometimes people bring things I put out what the menu is and then if they want to add to it that’s fine though as a gift to me I always ask for wine…. lots of wine. I don’t drink often but it takes me 3 days of straight cooking to prepare for so my feet are very welcome to the idea of not being felt LOL
    It looks like you have a very nice spread though and I’ll love to see what you make.
    Elizabeth recently posted..The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! Adventures in Cleaning RecapMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      That is wonderful that you make sure people aren’t spending the holiday alone! Ha, I never thought of asking for wine but I do like the idea 🙂

    1. Jean Post author

      I like hosting Easter. Not sure I’d be ready to take on Thanksgiving or Christmas…I’m fine with other people hosting those two.

    1. Jean Post author

      A bit (ha!) late replying to your comment but I do hope you had a wonderful Easter! The day before actually went fairly smooth as I had the house to myself a lot of the day.

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