Thursday, March 8, 2012

Easter Brunch

Several years ago (in a small church we pastored) we mixed up the "traditional" Easter basket up (so to speak). We held an early Easter morning service (not quite sunrise, but almost) and then hosted an Easter Brunch. We wound up doing it several years. It was a nice change of pace and fit the needs of our church members. It was a chance for those who didn't live near their families to spend the time with friends and church family. It gave church members an opportunity to invite those who normally wouldn't come to a Sunday morning service (even on Easter).   This is also a great idea for a small group or Sunday School class.

I am posting some of my favorite ideas. Some I've used. Some I'm intending to use. Someday :<)


Food

You can't have an Easter Brunch without the food. I suggest you use the KISS method (Keep It Simple Sweetie). On the other hand, you do want to make it special. I have to say that most years I prepared all the food with a few helpers. I admit it. I do enjoy it. But if I were to be honest I loved the year the Men's Ministry prepared Brunch. I just decorated the tables. Consider "outsourcing" if you need to. Gather those around who love to do this sort of thing and assign certain dishes.

You can't beat a good Egg Casserole. My suggestion would be to make it several smaller pans. Eggs behave better in smaller servings. You don't want crispy edges and runny center.

You can always go the Cracker Barrel route. This Amish recipe for a Breakfast Casserole has all those country flavors in one dish. Or just dig out your favorite Hashbrown Casserole and purchase a couple of large hams.

Maybe you want something sweet. While I enjoy a good pancake breakfast as the next gal, pancakes always aren't as practical if you are trying to serve the multitude (all by yourself). Here is a recipe for a French Toast Casserole that will serve many and many more.

If your folks are traditionalists and nothing will do but a good ole fashioned breakfast, here are some tips about making perfect scrambled eggs.  Set your ladies to making biscuits and gravy and there you go! Here is a good recipe for Biscuits and Gravy from thepioneerwoman.com. If you can help it don't use gravy from a can.

And then there are all the extras that a good brunch buffet needs. Muffins, sweet breads, bagels and cream cheese. And don't forget the fresh fruit platter. Here is a good site on preparing fruit trays and fruit salads for a crowd.

If you are like me and appreciate a visual here is a Youtube video I found on preparing a fruit platter.


And another one.


After you have your menu planned be sure your church kitchen is stocked with butter, jellies and jams, coffee and tea makings. If you want it to be extra special make a call for some homemade jellies and jams. Folks will be thrilled to pull out their homemade apple butter and strawberry preserves to add to the feast.

Table Decor

I encourage you to look around first and see what you have. I love the idea of putting "hostesses" in charge of a table. They are responsible for decorating their own tables. It is amazing what kind of creativity will burst out of your ladies. But, if you want a cohesive look to your brunch (or you are worried about all that creativity) here are a few general ideas.


While I have no problem with bunnies and eggs I do my best not to make those things the focus of Easter. I do, however, like this idea of making decorative Easter Eggs. I think they would be darling made with photocopied bits of hymns (Amazing Grace, Old Rugged Cross) and tucked into bird nests (which is one of my ideas below).

The Birds of The Air (this is what I plan on doing in our fellowship hall next week)
Begin by digging up every birdhouse or birdcage you can find. Purchase Bird nests (Hobby Lobby) or make your own. (how cool is that). You can use ceramic birds (I have some little white ceramic ones I found at Gordman's very inexpensively) and decorative feathers as fillers. I think blue tablecloths would be lovely. I also like the idea of using branches and foliage from the great outdoors. We'll see how that turns out. I don't want a fire hazard. Speaking of fire hazard, I plan on using dozens of little clear votives.

Behold! The Lamb of God
This might be a little more difficult. But put a call out for any sheep or lamb figurines or stuffed animals. Here is a little craft that would be cute for one of your children's groups to make just for the occasion.  You can accent with spring flowers.  Oriental Trading has some pretty cute lambs. Just type lamb in the search box.

Rejoice!
This is all about the party. And fun. Make your own pinwheels. You can certainly purchase them, but making your own will allow you to use some pretty cute color combinations. Put your pinwheels in flower pots (stuffed with foam and Easter grass). Use brightly colored table cloths and hang paper lanterns above. Make table runners with butcher paper and let your children's church group write messages of Good News! (He Lives! He's Alive!, etc.)

Fields of Flowers
Invite everyone to bring a vase of flowers from their own gardens. Depending on your location and what's blooming this one could be interesting :<) Right now our Dogwoods are blooming. How pretty would it be to have pitchers of dogwood blossoms set on an Easter table!

Don't forget about the kids! Take a cue from the restaurants and provide some activity pages for the kids (along with crayons). This site has some nice printable Easter activities.

Hopefully, some of my ideas have sparked some more ideas :<)

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