As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…..more surprises! To celebrate my Nick’s 18th birthday, we decided to throw him a surprise party; brunch at our house and 18 holes (18 for his 18th) with his pals. All of the planets must have been in alignment when I took a gander at our calendar to find that he had a free Sunday. No golf. No hockey. It was a miracle.
The guest list was easy; hockey friends, golf friends, childhood friends, all from the Be All and End All Academy and St. Feels Right For Her. The surprise, however, was potentially more complicated. I am highly in favor of a proper invitation, addressed by hand and sent via snail mail, but I totally get how email is just easier. Besides, sending a teenage boy a proper invitation, addressed by hand and received via snail mail could be construed as; weird. I sent out the email, made the tee time reservations and got cooking.
Brunch is always a hit, economical (especially minus the mimosas) and simple to prepare. On the menu;
- Scrambled eggs
- Pancakes, both plain and chocolate chip
- Fresh Fruit
- Orange Juice, milk and water (no coffee worries either)
Of course the question was; how to sneak all of this past him without raising suspicion. It’s a good thing our household is accustomed to shenanigans, because he didn’t bat an eye! We told him he had to wrap up all of his homework on Saturday (instead of putting off to tomorrow what he could do today…..) because his uncle wanted to take him golfing on Sunday (wink, wink). With about 30 minutes left on the clock, we sent him on a quick “errand”. Upon his return, he found the fellas milling about in front of our house. As we spied from inside, we could see him grinning from ear to ear. He was surprised and he was happy.
Boys sure can eat! The prep was so simple; it just took a little planning. Saturday, we cooked 4 lbs of bacon, employing my favorite method. Pre-heat your oven to 350°, line rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, lay bacon in a single layer and cook for 20-30 minutes. Just watch it. I then remove the bacon, line a container with paper towel (to soak up all of the grease), layering with bacon and paper towel as we go. I then refrigerate until I am ready to serve. You can totally make the bacon a few days in advance. Zap it in the microwave and you’re good to go…..with no mess!
I hulled the strawberries, sliced and diced the melon and cantaloupe and rinsed the blue berries. To keep the fruit mushy-free, I layered paper towel (you know I love Bounty…the quicker picker upper) in between each layer of fruit. Store it in the fridge until ready to use. For the sake of beauty, I served the fruit in layers in a tall glass hurricane. It was pretty…just the kind of thing teenage boys appreciate.
The night before, I even cracked all my eggs (mess averted), and kept them in two mixing bowls with tight sealing lids. With ten boys for breakfast, 40 eggs seemed like the magic number. About 45 minutes before the boy’s arrival, I whisked in some milk and pepper and scrambled them up. They were light, fluffy and perfect. I kept them warm in a chaffing dish until the boys were ready to eat.
My family LOVES pancakes, so I’ve got that down to a science. I made 24 pancakes, half plain and half with chocolate chips mixed in the batter. I must remind myself that all children are not chocoholics like mine. I kept them warm in our warming drawer (or simply on low in your oven). When we were ready to eat, I put them in another chaffing dish. It must be fine, because that’s how they serve a breakfast buffet from the Holiday Inn to the Ritz Carlton. Powdered sugar and syrup were a lovely accompaniment.
We bought fresh bagels from Einstein’s and had them sliced in half there. No need to cut off a digit at home. So been there done that (see More Uses For Duck Tape in my August archives, as we marked the three year anniversary of Chuck’s successful severed thumb replant. Thanks OAD!). What more does a boy need than cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese and butter?
The boys filled their plates, told funny stories, gave each other the business and laughed and laughed. It was music to my ears. After brunch, I zipped over to the golf course with them to settle up at the Pro-shop. They were so darn cute and polite as they posed for pictures. More life long friends, more shared experiences, more laughs, more breakfast, more golf, more fun, more memories……