Before our very first Fourth of July breakfast, my husband Lonnie and I were flying by the seat of our pants. We had never fed a crowd before, we had no idea how to estimate the amounts of food to buy, and timing all the cooking? Forget it. We didn’t have a clue.
Now that we’ve held our annual breakfast five times, we are figuring things out. Here are a few tips that would’ve helped us the first time around and might help you plan your own morning bash:
• If you’re serving eggs, plan on two per person—it seems skimpy, but it’s just about perfect. Our favorite way to make them is in a huge camping wok (pictured above) that’ll truly cook 20 dozen eggs at a time. One more secret: Drop in a few healthy dollops of sour cream the last minute or so for silky-smooth scrambled eggs.
• For bacon, two strips per person is enough.
• Serve a variety of foods. Our favorites include sausage, bacon, eggs, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, orange juice, milk, buttermilk syrup, maple syrup, and (new this year) French-toast sticks. That way people who eat healthy have sufficient options, and those who prefer a greasy-spoon kind of breakfast get what they want too.
• Serve the best syrup. I always make this recipe—no better syrup exists. I could eat that stuff on a hot dog. It tastes good on everything and is simple to make.
• For the first four years I made a million pancakes the day before, then reheated them the morning of the Fourth. This year I tried French-toast sticks, and I got loads of positive feedback. They also spared me about two hours of pancake flipping over a hot frying pan—bonus!
• Buy all the paper products the week before. That’s also a good time to wash and iron tablecloths, make a list of guests, and send invites.
• Buy yourself the cutest festive apron you can. That way you’ll feel cute even if you’re splattered with grease. And remember to enjoy the day!