Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving
preference to one another…given to hospitality.
—Romans 12:10–13, NKJV
One of the great things about brunch recipes is that there are so many dishes that can be partially or fully prepared in advance. This leaves more time for enjoying your guests!
I am blessed to be part of a special prayer group that meets every month. We eat together, pray together, and share what is going on in our lives. During the rest of the month, prayer requests for a special need are only a phone call away. These women are dear to me, and I cherish our times together. Recently I was hosting them for brunch and had prepared dishes the night before. Something urgent came up, and I couldn’t host the next morning.
So I called one of the women, Gwen, and asked if she would take my place as hostess. The table was set and the meal already prepared—the brunch just needed a last-minute heating. Gwen came and took care of getting the food out, and then the ladies cleaned it up. I’m not sure they even missed me! It pays to be prepared ahead of time.
Another reason brunch is one of my favorite meals to prepare is for the traditions it can begin. Long before I moved to Tennessee, for example, several of my friends and I came to Nashville every November to visit with each other and do our early holiday shopping. Paul and I have lived in Tennessee for eleven years now, and these friends are still coming. We begin our day with brunch and end it with chocolate. Each night before we go to bed, I place chocolates (purchased from thecocoatree.com) and small books about friends on their pillows. As they go upstairs, we all laugh and say as the Waltons used to say, “Good night, Mary Ellen. Good night, John Boy!” Good friends, good food, time well spent—what a gift!
Yield: 8 servings
6–7 slices white bread (enough to fill 9-x-13-inch dish)
1 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Cut crusts from bread and place the slices in a greased 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish. Add sausage and sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Mix eggs with salt, dry mustard, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour mixture over cheeses. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes prior to baking. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until set.
Grocery list: white bread, sausage, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese.
Pantry checklist: eggs, salt, dry mustard, milk, Worcestershire sauce
Hospitality Note: Prepare this recipe with all ingredients except eggs, milk, and seasonings, and freeze in advance. Remove from freezer the night before serving, add remaining ingredients, and follow the directions for the rest of the recipe.