Monday, May 2, 2011

A Nice Little Blogger Brunch

We had a false start for this event earlier in the year, but on April 30, a few local bloggers gathered at Almost Heaven South for a light brunch. In attendance, besides Bev and I, were Katherine Aucoin of Smoky Mountain Cafe and husband AJ and daughter Kaitlin, David and Laurie Myers of Big Daddy Dave’s and SIL, Pat.

I spent a lot of mental energy trying to come up with a menu and ultimately decided to go with items that would be normal around here. So the menu was:

Homemade tomato juice
Orange juice
Mimosa’s (orange juice and champagne)
Iced tea
Smoked stuffed fatty
Fried potatoes with fried peppers and onions on the side
Benton’s country ham and bacon
Kennedy Quiche – Bev wanted one dish to be unique
Sawmill gravy made from homemade breakfast sausage
Biscuits (frozen) – had to draw the line somewhere
Fried eggs
One pickled egg for AJ
Fruit - fresh strawberries from the local berry patch, blueberries, kiwi, mango, grapes

Had to include the recipe for my sausage gravy:

Brown one pound of your favorite breakfast sausage.  Move the meat to one side and tilt skillet to drain the fat to the other side.  Estimate the fat amount and sprinkle that amount of flour over the meat plus a little more for the fat that didn't drain.  Stir and cook for a few minutes to cook the flour then slowly stir in the milk - about a half cup per tablespoon of flour, making sure to get all of the brown bits from the pan bottom.  Bring to a simmer, cook about 10 minutes or until gravy thickens, and serve hot over almost anything.

After considering the serving options, such as family style, restaurant style (take your order from the table and fill it), or just filling everyone’s plate with food, we decided on a buffet for everything but the eggs, which were cooked to order. We got most things ready by 10:30am and put them in the warming drawer until time to serve.

Everyone showed up between 10:30 and 11:00, we had a beverage and took egg orders so that I could add an egg atop the taters as you finished the buffet line. This is the buffet less the biscuits which were a little slow to cook.  Notice the gravy is last, except for the fruit - even I wouldn't put it on fruit - it would mess up the gravy flavor :-).

Here we are ready to dig in.

Here's my end of the table (note AJ's egg next door) and my plate and while it wasn't perfect, it was at least as good as Cracker Barrel :-).

Of course the best part of the meal was the socializing and I really enjoyed the after dinner conversation and especially the participation of Kaitlin - I may invite her and her sister to our parties whether or not her parents can come.  Great job Katherine and AJ.

Unfortunately, two other bloggers were unable to attend.
We had lots of leftovers so guess what I'm eating for the next few days.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Philly Cheese Steak Pizza



  1. How fun Larry. I always think the best part is socializing too, but man oh man that brunch looks good. Sometimes I get to talking and forget to eat and my plate is still full when everyone else leaves the table.

    We're looking forward to your blogger get together in June. Hope A.J., Katherine and Kaitlin will be there too.

  2. June 19th. June 19th. June 19th. I cannot wait!

  3. Blogger-full lunches/dinners are the best! Always good food and good company!

  4. Hey Larry...Laurie here...Yes! it was a great brunch! More yummy food than a person should eat but we managed. (Ha-ha!) And yes, we totally enjoyed the company & conversation. Very nice to meet the Aucoin. Lovely people! So are you, Bev & Pat for bringing us all together & preparing such a lovely & delicious table of food! David & I truly enjoyed ourselves as we always do at A Little Heaven South! Thank you for a perfect day! Looking forward to next month! Let us know if we can bring something this time! Thanks again!

  5. Oh how I wish I could have been there, I would have been in Heaven at Almost Heaven. My favorite thing you ask??? The gravy of course. omg

  6. I think the your plate looks better than Cracker Barrel!! :) Looks like you all had a fantastic time together!

  7. Wish I lived closer so I could join in on this fantastic brunch with bloggers... everything looks amazing!

  8. Cracker Barrel??? You left them in the dust. Amazing food and fantastic company! We had a wonderful time, Larry. Thank you and Bev for inviting us. We enjoyed every minute. So wonderful to meet David and Laurie. Fantastic company and great conversation.

    We are looking forward to June 19th. Lauren has asked for that Sunday off. You know, the 19th is Father's Day - looks like you and Chris will be doing what you like to do best! Thanks Larry!

  9. How wonderful that you hosted such a great blogger brunch. Everything looks delicious but I'm sure the company was even better.

  10. Yum Yum Yum! Sure wish I lived in your neck of the woods!

  11. Nice breakfast! I'm glad to know that fruit would ruin your gravy. I'll be sure to keep the two well separated.

  12. I would have made an entire meal of biscuits and gravy . . . maybe a little room for fruit at the end. I LOVE sausage gravy!

  13. Hate that I had to miss it:( It looks like you all rocked out the brunch! I know that no one left hungry. That sausage gravy would have gone down great, much better than the pack of peanut butter crackers that I had for breakfast, lol.

  14. It's funny, the sausage I am getting now is so lean that I have to add oil when I make sausage gravy. What's the world coming too?


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