Clown Gospel Brunch

posted in: Ruminations | 8


In the wake of the tragic event at Virginia Tech, I’m feeling a little less than enthusiastic about food right now. There’s no knowing how all the ramifications of the tragedy will pan out, and until then, I’ll move on with my humble food blog. However, when you attach a memorable feast to a humanitarian cause, as the Glass Contraption theatre company did, good times are definitely a little easier to swallow.

Last weekend I had the opportunity help raise money for the troupe’s sojourn to South Africa to help children affected by HIV through the Topsy Foundation. The Glass Contraption is one serious group of clowns. For consecutive summers they’ve used their professional clowning skills to help brighten the lives of orphans, collaborating with the children of Topsy on performances. My role? I made brunch. Hosted and co-chefed by my friend Bob, we served thirty-some people for a gospel-themed brunch in the midst of a stormy April Sunday.

On the menu were:

Ham, cheese & egg crepes with beschamel sauce

Fruit crepes with any combination of strawberries, blueberries, apples & bananas (vegetarian and vegan varieties)

Fresh salmon cakes

A spinach & fontina cheese frittata

Lemon polenta cakes with strawberries & fresh mint topping (vegan)

Herb-tastic potato hash

Plenty of McClure’s Pickles — and the spicy brine made one fine Bloody Mary mix

Sangria, a green salad, homemade bread, and other stuff I was too busy consuming or cooking to take pictures of until they were gone (like this well-spent bucket of Sangria)

Phew. Along with all the eating and drinking, we watched short doc on the group’s past contributions clowning around with children in need, Topsy.

And along with that, we had rain — lots and lots of rain. On my way back from Williamsburg, the G train refused to come for 45 minutes, leaving myself and a whole gamut of drippy commuters stranded in the station, in a quandary over whether to find some alternative mode of transportation. I bounced for the bus. Or rather, sloshed knee-high through murky street water running toward a bus that was pulling away. (The driver, bless his soul, stopped for me.) I didn’t leave my apartment for the rest of the day. All told, it was well worth the trip.

Since so many people at the brunch asked me how the salmon cakes were made, I’ve posted the simple recipe for that treat here. What’s better than friends, fun and a little fried fish cake at home? Funny, I think I’ve regained my appetite already.

8 Responses

  1. becca

    It all looks amazing!

  2. Laura Wehrman

    Have to say that I love your site. It is fantastic! Have yet to make a recipe but I love to visit. The G is my regular train and spend countless hours waiting. Keep up the great work.

  3. Deborah Dowd

    That looks incredible… and what a cause! I think we all have been effected by the events in Blacksburg- it certainly hits home here in Virginia, where almost everyone knows a young person going to school there. But the best we can do is offer prayers, be supportive and make the most of our life… and that includes food and blogging!

  4. Terry B

    So occasionally there IS a reason to eat out in New York. Nicely done, Cathy!

  5. Justine

    Thanks for making our first Clown Brunch such a success and for helping us spread the word about what we do — if clowns ate food i think it would be spicy pickles and vegan polenta cakes!

  6. Grace Redd

    Many gospel groups have ppl who do these things on a volunteer basis. Some who start that way become full or part time employees as the group grows or as they get to knopw ppl in other groups. Start now by getting training and work in marketing and advertizing or sales (even telemarketing experience helps) and by going consistantly to the singings in your area and making yourself useful especially to the person or group that holds the singing sometimes called the event promoter. Chances are that the first few experiencesyou have will cme into the classification of “semi helpful fan” possibly accelerating to “groupie” but it gets your foot in the door.

  7. Kot

    Until you want to eat.

  8. Treatment

    Nice info but top of that some very well taken pictures

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