Elevenses with Mernus
Asia Chicken, Pork, Shrimp and Vegetarian Dim Sum served in steamer baskets with sauces to include: sweet & sour sauce, sesame soy dipping sauce and spicy sambal Assorted Sushi served with Soy Sauce, Wasabi & Pickled Ginger tuna rolls, cucumber rolls, California rolls, rock n’ roll, avocado roll Nebraska Grilled Tri Tip Steak with Mustard Aioli with baby romaine served on a mini roll Fingerling Potato Skins with pancetta, fontina, crème fraiche & chives (small portion served without pancetta) Baby Blue Salad Franklin Biggs’ Recipe San Francisco Assorted Organic Firebrand Sourdough Breads with salted butter Cioppino Shooters with mussels, clams, chopped shrimp & crab Selection of Local Artisan Cheeses served with fresh fruit, crackers & crostini Vegetarian / Espana Sesame Noodle Salad with Asian Vegetables served in small Chinese take-out containers with chopsticks and forks Mixed Olives marinated with Spanish spices Tortilla Espanola with piperade Sweet Elevenses Assorted Cookies & Franklin’s Brownies including store-bought oreo’s My mother Bernice Biggs passed away on February 3, after having lunch with one of her daughters, watching the movie “My Weekend with Marilyn”, another in their annual quest to see all of the Oscar nominated movies before the awards show. Afterward they stopped at her usual Peet’s coffee shop, where she had a stroke and passed away several hours later with members of two generations holding her hands and comforting her. A better last day could not be hoped for after 89 years of a cup of life fully drunk and enjoyed. A copy of her obituary, some comments and a marvelous musical tribute, “Crossing Over”, to her from my brother Allen and his friends can be found at her memorial website bernicebiggs.org. It is amazing what my older sister captured on her i-phone. A tape of her memorial service will be available there also after editing is finished.
“A better last day could not be hoped for after 89 years of a cup of life fully drunk and enjoyed.”
To me the whole memorial service was about Elevenses with Mernus. Mernus was her family nickname, a combination of mother and Bernice (pronounced Bernis), inspired by a piece of junk mail addressed to Merniece Mitts. Sometimes it was shortened to just Mern.
What inspired me in the development of the menu for the reception after her recent memorial service, was her frequent invocation of the term ‘’elevenses” from the book series about Paddington Bear. Elevenses is that mid morning snack we would enjoy often when traveling, or at home, just like Paddington Bear and Mr. Gruber in his antique shop. To me elevenses are appropriate at any time, it just depends on some supple time zone imagination! It was a little strange sitting down with a caterer to create a menu for that reception, as I am used to sitting on their side of the table. But my best friend, Marc’s recommendation brought me to CarrieDove Catering, just around the corner from the headquarters of Peet’s Coffee, of which my mother was proud to be a stockholder, and oddly also near the crematorium where we had attended her cremation a few days before. The great folks at Carriedove did just what they needed to do, and let my sister and me talk about our mother, and some of the places that had been important to her. They listened carefully and came up with a menu that reflected many aspects of Mern’s life. They set up the food and beverage stations around the mementos displayed by members of my family. The secret to working with a caterer is to give them good input, let them create a menu that reflects both your input and their strengths and then let them do their job.