Let it be known that my brother squeezed 67 oranges for the juice he served at the impeccably prepared birthday brunch that he and his Sweetie S. served to celebrate our grandfather's 99th birthday.
This was the first time (well actually second but I prepared that meal) he hosted and prepared a meal at his home for a family event. I was a bit wistful since I was looking forward to doing it myself but after Izzy's birthday it was good to have a respite from the kitchen.
When Izzy and I arrived, calm reigned overall as everything was incredibly well-organized, down to the last detail of lovely flowers on the table. In a way, this came as a surprise because for years my brother E. has lived in his neat old house with decor consisting of his childhood desk and our old kitchen table and chairs, with other manner of bachelor-style furnishings.
What I hadn't noticed was that little by little, he has been working (along with great encouragement from his lady-friend, I imagine) to transform his house into an elegantly styled show-place.
From the kitchen to the living room, everything was immaculate.
Guests arrived to a table set with artfully arranged platters of grilled vegetables, bowls of fruit,home baked breads, bagels and two kinds of quiche. There were also was also the smoked fish delivered from Zabar's, awaiting my arrival. I was immediately put in charge of the lox, whitefish and cream cheese display which was laid out in the kitchen.
All was well orchestrated and neatness was maintained, save for a bit of madness that Izzy and I introduced to the party (details to follow). After the brunch time buffet, I brought out the Strawberry Cheesecake, my one contribution to the celebration.
All in all, it all worked out for the best. Evidently the guest of honor had a swell time. He didn't even have to eat his vegetables before having dessert. In fact, he only ate the dessert.