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Brunch for 30
by JHC

A week or so before my brother was married, we threw a wedding brunch in the woods of Wisconsin. With 30 or 40 hungry relatives to feed, and with a minimum of two eggs Benedict each, we had our work cut out for us.

My grandmother made the Hollandaise ahead of time, a large batch which she rescued from curdling by adding a tablespoon or two of boiling water and stirring to regain the consistency.

When she was done, we began with the English muffins, buttered and toasted 12 or 16 at a time in the oven broiler, then transferred to a warm oven when toasted. After that, we grilled slices of Canadian bacon by the dozen and piled them the oven.

With any eggs Benedict, poaching requires the most precise timing: we used two large frying pans, a baking tray, and all four burners. With three people cracking, we managed to cook 2 1/2 dozen eggs at a time.

On to the assembly line: bacon to muffin, eggs to bacon, Hollandaise and asparagus to garnish.

Finally, cousins were enlisted to ring the dinner bell and run plates to the tables, and we ate.

The proportions were just about right: we had a few too many muffins, and were a few spoons short on the Hollandaise, but all in all it was a success.


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