Did you miss us?
We’re definitely glad to be back! It’s been a busy couple of weeks here in Charleston. We’ve had a number of family visitors and we’ve been having so much fun. We love hosting a big Easter brunch, which we’ve been doing for a long time, even before we moved to South Carolina. It’s such a fun time of year to host a brunch, and if you know about me (Kendra), you know that brunch is my favorite meal of the day, so what better event to host? We’re really blessed to have amazing friends & family (both in Charleston and far afield), and they help make hosting a brunch an absolute breeze.
The way we host brunch is by coming up with some food ideas and then sharing the list of ideas with people who want to come. That way, they can bring something (if they want to) and it fits in really nicely with the overall scheme of the brunch. Here’s the example from this year:
This way, I know what will be there so we can plan space and the flow, and it’s easy on people to know what to bring…and we don’t end up with five different salads. I build it in Google Drive and set the permissions so that anyone can edit it without having to log in (that way people who don’t really use Google Drive can add to it without having to make accounts and log in, which can be a hassle). It generally works really well.
This year was our largest Easter Brunch yet (we had around 30 people), and were blessed to have glorious weather- so it ended up that we had tables both indoors and outdoors, which gave people options for where they wanted to sit. I guess it worked since our last guest (that wasn’t staying with us) was there until 9 pm. I love hosting a brunch and aside from one broiler-related, it went really well.
You’ll notice on the list that one of our dishes was Squash Pudding Casserole. Y’all. This stuff is insane. Making it for brunch was our second go at it because as soon as we made it the first time, we knew it was a hit. I love making French onion soup…how does this connect to this week’s recipe? Well, this casserole is basically dry french onion soup without liquids and adding squash- and it’s so delicious. We made the perfectly sweet and savory Squash & Fontina Casserole Pudding (pg 347) for Easter Brunch and it worked out pretty seamlessly since like French Onion Soup, there’s a stage where you load onions and squash into a Dutch oven to sweat them/cook them down. This step can get done the night before (we did and it went perfectly). Generally, this recipe requires you to do a lot of chopping and a lot of stirring in the pot. It’s pretty easy though…keep in mind that it does take time- you’re in luck, as this recipe is linked above. Really, think about making it. Our first time creating it was a night we had another couple over for dinner and it was good stuff, perfect for a quiet night in with friends. That night, we had it as the main dish with a salad and some appetizers. Our friend Melissa pointed out that it looked crusty & attractive and ‘smells really good’. Her husband Gary wasn’t hungry but told us he kept eating it because it was so good. I’ll take that as a glowing recommendation.
We adjusted the recipe both times by using ghee and Jarlsberg swiss (it’s lactose-free), which worked well. The first time baked in the oven for 30 minutes on convection and turned out great. The second time (when we made it for brunch), we quadrupled the recipe, so it cooked a lot longer, but it’s pretty forgiving and ended up being a fantastic side dish…one I would certainly make again. Suffice to say, there were not any leftovers from Easter. We clearly would have paid for this one, but I won’t need to this summer when I’m considering what to do with all of the summer squash & zucchini that are always flying around…this is the perfect recipe for them, because even when it’s hot, you can cook this and then serve it chilled- it’s good people, really good.
What’s your favorite thing to do with squashes?