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On the Coast Magazine

Easter Hop by Pam Molnar

03/01/2017 09:32AM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Traditionally, families celebrate Easter with their extended families by attending church, hunting for Easter eggs and eating a wonderful meal. When a job moves you away from your hometown, it may not be possible to go home for Easter, leaving you to find another way to celebrate. This year, enjoy Easter with neighbors and friends by hosting a progressive brunch. The benefit of a progressive meal is that it allows you to see several people, show off your home and host without having to go overboard on costs.

Progressive brunches work well for people who live close to each other, whether they are in the same building, on the same block or within the same neighborhood. Each house participating in the brunch provides a meal – or at least one of the meal’s courses – and drinks. Guests arrive at a set time and usually only stay an hour before moving on to the next house and the next course. 

Start Planning – Make your guest and host lists. Will your brunch include your Bunco group, neighborhood couples or families? If you host with children, be sure to include kid friendly foods and a special activity like a craft or movie. Kids might enjoy Easter movies like, “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown”, “Hop”, “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” or “Veggie Tales – An Easter Carol”. 

Hosting – When choosing your hosts, find out how many guests they can seat at their table. Then divide the number of guests by the number of seats available at each house. For example, if your guest list includes 12 adults and each house can only seat 6, it might be a better idea to have two hosts for each course. Most kids are happy to be seated in the kitchen, so you don’t have to include them in your dining table count. Switch up who eats together at each house so everyone gets to socialize with different people. If you don’t want to split up your party, another way to do it is not have formal seating, but rather a cocktail party style, so all 12 guests can go to each house.

Menu – Have the hosts get together and make a menu so there will not be any duplicate meals for the brunch. Be sure to consider any food allergies when planning. Search your cookbooks, Pinterest or use the menu ideas provided in the sidebar. Choose meals that can be prepared ahead or take little cooking time so when it is your time to host, you will only need to leave the party a few minutes before your guests arrive. 

Cost – Splitting the cost of the food is important, especially if not every guest is hosting. When the menu has been decided, select 2 hosts to make a list and preshop to gather pricing. Don’t forget to add disposable plates and cups making it easier on the hosts. Divide the cost of the food, drinks and babysitters by the number of guests and collect the money before you shop. 

Putting it all together - Start the party at the first house with a celebratory mimosa and pick up your meal schedules. Enjoy a quick half hour of mingling, break off into more intimate groups of 6 or 8 for the other parts of the meal. Arrive at the next house at the set time for your next course and move through the afternoon enjoying different hosts, friends and a variety of food and drinks. Head to the last house to meet up with the whole group again for desserts.

End the afternoon with a group game for the adults. Try games like Hedbanz, Apples to Apples or The Game of Things. Have an Easter egg hunt for the kids or ask the Easter Bunny to stop by for a visit. Leave the party with wonderful memories, stronger friendships and a full stomach. 

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She believes party planning is as much fun as attending the party. 


Menu Ideas for Your Easter Brunch

Fruit and yogurt parfait

Mini muffins or bagel bites

French toast sticks 

Cinnamon rolls in the shape of bunnies

Mini Eggs Benedict

Fruit and donut hole kabobs

Ham and asparagus roll ups made with refrigerated crescent rolls

Fruit salad served in red wine goblets

Waffle bar with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate chips and a variety of syrups

Quiches or frittatas

Pasta salad

Cheese, cracker and sausage platters

Chicken or egg salad served in a seeded tomato or avocado

Shrimp cocktail

Deviled eggs

Ham kabobs with pineapple and tomatoes

Smoked salmon crostini’s with cream cheese and dill

Drinks:

Mimosas, Bloody Marys, juice, milk, coffee, tea and hot chocolate


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