Easter Saturday brunch is another one of our neighborhood's traditions. More succinctly, another wonderful thing that S and W do for the neighborhood. For those of you not in the know; S and W are our neighbors, to the right if you're standing in the street and looking at our house (and while you're there, please ignore the empty flower bed between the two houses, the leaves that I STILL haven't cleaned out from Fall, and the fact that our lawn is about 10 inches too tall).
S and W are true neighbors, always saying "hi" when passing, truly interested in the lives of those around them and always willing to help in any way they can. In fact, since I haven't mowed the lawn in a few weeks I'm expecting W to knock on the door any minute now and ask if he can mow it. Yes, you read that right.
Every year on the Saturday before Easter they host a brunch for their neighbors. The festivities start around 11:30am with mimosas and bellinis, around noon the men go outside and re-live their childhood by finding creative ways to hide all the eggs S and W have purchased and filled with money and candy, followed shortly by the children who run around finding them all and filling their baskets.
Once all the eggs have been found, and the booty inventoried, the feast begins! Now, let me tell you, this is no ordinary brunch and I will attempt to describe it for the unfortunate folks who don't get to see, and taste the bounty of delicious food, but words are failing me as I remember the sights, smells and tastes from Saturday afternoon.
While mimosas are being sipped, the neighbors chit-chatting, and children scrambling around searching for eggs to fill their baskets, S is cooking. Or rather, this year, S and Papa were cooking. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, blueberry and cinnamon-raisin french toast; bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, red onion and capers; sliced ham, cheese, rolls, melons, pineapple, asparagus with roasted red peppers, and baked ziti. We all brought food, as well. C, their neighbor to the other side, made a egg and chorizo pie, H (across the street) make macaroni and cheese, and Papa made a delicious salad - greens with sliced strawberries and toasted pine nuts and a strawberry puree pomegranate vinaigrette. mmmmm...
But the pièce de résistance is S’s "apple pancakes." Now before you think pancake and picture some flat thing that you throw butter and syrup on - STOP! That is not what these are. These are sliced apples in cinnamon and sugar slowly simmered and then finally covered with a layer of batter and baked in the oven....these are perfection. There was more...so much more, but my memory is failing me and, quite frankly, all I ever remember well is those darned pancakes.
Once we've all filled our plates and then our bellies, its time for dessert: Cupcakes, cookies, little cheese-cake bites, and a home-made parfait that I always forget to leave room for.
We sat around, ate and chatted with the neighbors until the little one was falling down and the big one started crying over everything. And then we headed home for naps.
It was great! So great, in fact, that I’m already looking forward to next year.