Every lady who lunches is measured by the luncheons she hosts, every gay man knows that he is measured by brunch. And, in the world of brunches, there are two brunches that matter the most: Easter and Mother’s Day. With Easter just around the corner, most of us are faced with tablescapes, seating arrangements, and a menu to plan. It may sound extreme or uptight, and quite expensive, but there is truly nothing like a beautiful Sunday Brunch when all the right pieces have come together. This isn’t your Sunday Funday hangover cure, this my good sirs is the Kentucky Derby of Bottoms.
While some of you might be at Hamburger Mary's, and those who are foodies might be at the trendiest organic breakfast spot, some have woken up early enough to cook. They aren't just making eggs and bacon, but instead they are making brioche bread buddings, and poaching eggs. These are the Stepford gays, the hostesses with the mostesses, they are the gays who go all out and spare no cost. They aren't all blonde, they aren't all thin, they definitely aren't barbie. Instead, these men are trendy, love organic co op food, worship Martha Stewart, and usually prefer cardigans over blazers. And when you encounter these men, you will know- The Boys who Brunch.
The first brunch I can remember, was Easter Brunch. Every Easter my parents would buy us new clothes, even down to the undies. We would lay the clothes out the night before knowing what was to come the next day. First, we would wake up and open Easter baskets, and then attend church in our new clothes, and then, we would go to my grandparents' for brunch. For my grandparents, brunch was pancakes, bacon and eggs, and some sort of potato casserole. Those memories are fond, but when I was sixteen, I got to experience brunch at the Peninsula Hotel. Here everything was beautiful, elegant and sophisticated and from that moment on, I knew that one day I would be hosting the most perfect of brunches. Little did I know that brunch wasn't as easy. The first brunch I hosted was actually quite the disaster, in retrospect, no eighteen year old should be hosting a brunch. I think I served Cook's Champagne and attempted four quiches, and a salad. I guess it was okay for my first attempt, but it wasn't until I was twenty-two when I realized all of the components that make a perfect a brunch.
It is really important to know, that opening a bottle of champagne around 11 or 1 doesn't mean you are having brunch. Though, by definition brunch is just a late breakfast or early lunch, a gay brunch by definition is an overly extravagant late breakfast that includes champagne, gossip, a lot of laughing, and floral arrangements; or something like that. And unfortunately, or fortunately, brunch isn't just about the food. Yes, the food is important, but everything else just might upstage the food when it comes the gay brunches. So, now it is time to host brunch.
Broccolini and boys | ingredients for brunch:
The Theme Typically, when hosting brunch a theme is usually common. For example, for a baby shower you might be hosting, or a friend's engagement, the beginning of spring, or even Easter. Typically, most people go out for brunch, simply because the amount of work that goes into hosting a brunch. Once a theme is picked it is time for... The Tablescape The table scape is the most important, because you will be sitting around all morning/afternoon, the table has to be perfect. After deciding a theme, everything from the flatware to the glassware matters. If you are hosting a beach like brunch, you might consider filling bell jars with sand an candles, or even buying beta fish. You might be wrapping the flatware in red and white striped napkins, tied with rope and an anchor. Your table cloth might be canvas, and your chargers might be wood. All of these things, the details, they all matter. A tablescape should be inviting, charming, and is the center of brunch.
The Company Who you have at brunch is really important. As friends you all get a long, and a lot of the time you find yourself at brunch talking about boys, and relationships. When hosting a brunch when plus ones or friends of friends are coming, the conversation should be pleasant, not stiff, and you don't want that one drunk friend to make a fool of you, their own self, and your friends. Additionally, seating arrangements might be necessary if strangers are involved, don't let brunch become cliquey. The Food Optionally, banquet or buffet style. Remember, if you are doing all of the cooking ahead of time, the timing and delivery of the meal is important. Typically, I like to do half banquet and half buffet. I like to serve salad and fruit on the table, and have a buffet set up of easy to keep warm items. Brioche Cassole can be made the night before, you just pop it in the oven 30 minutes before everyone arrives, and it makes your home smell yummy. Meats are served in warming trays, breads are usually served in baskets with warmed towels, I cheat and put a microwave heating pad (the ones that are stuffed with rice or beans) in the bottom of the baskets, then put in the cloth, and then the bread. I always serve both vegetarian and meat options when it comes to quiches, and I have learned my lesson to never do anything benedict. (Recipes will be posted soon!) The Liquor... and non liquor So brunch requires a lot of liquids it seems. I always find myself having to prepare a coffee and tea bar, juice assortments including an alcoholic sparkling lemonade, mimosas, bloody marys and flavored water. When doing mimosas you can save money, instead of using champagne you can always use italian sparkling wine, or prosecco. A large pot of coffee, a hazelnut creamer and a bottle of Godiva liqueur goes far. Using instant powdered lemonade, Absolute raspberry vodka, with fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries always wins over the lightweights. Make a pitcher of bloody marys instead of individuals glasses, have the garnishes prepared the night before on kabob sticks and serve in slender glasses. Buy an ice tea dispenser for water and fill it ice, an layer lemon and cucumbers for a visual effect.
Details Matter: from the invite, to the flowers, to the glassware, to the confections, pay attention to detail, and most of the time, less is more.
Napkins stuffed into glasses make for interesting levels on the tables, adding details to the napkins makes the brunch more personal. Or try napkin origami!
Even your serving dishes matter. If you don't have a lot of dish ware, invest in an all white set. This way you can mix and match pieces down the line as you acquire more.
Premixing drinks saves money and time. Serving them in unique bottles in different heights definitely adds a different look and feel. Keep the fruits near the beverage station, so people are inclined to make their own cocktails, by mixing what you have already done and adding fresh fruit.