“Best friends are the people you can do anything and nothing with and still have the best time”.
If entertaining was made easier, I am certain we would do more of it! Back in my mother’s day, they always went to a party with a plate in hand. What happened to that tradition of sharing food and sharing the load?
We appear to have become slaves in our own kitchen. It has become a reasonable excuse as to why we rarely entertain. For fear of repeating myself (which hasn’t stopped me in the past), sharing up the cooking not only lightens the load (and hopefully you get to stay awake until the end of the night), it also makes for a more shared environment. I have found some of these shared occasions to be some of our most enjoyable.
Recently, a few ladies caught up for a mid week lunch at our house. The sun was shining and the laughter was abundant. We didn’t need an excuse to get together, we just did! It was a refreshing change from meeting at some restaurant or café.
I set the table, prepared a board for the centre of the table and we all contributed to the grazing board by bringing something savoury or sweet. I love the chatter surrounding the arrival of each lady and her dish. As always, the conversation quickly turned to food!
Photo|a simple table with stands, wooden grazing board and napkins
All eight of us sat around the table, oops nine of us – let’s not forget Lucinda, who blew in with grandmother and was just a little treasure (who said iPhones don’t amuse small children) all chatted, laughed and enjoyed the food around us.
Feeling Overwhelmed Entertaining | Why not consider making it a little easier on yourself? Invite a small group of close friends to your house and suggest that you all share up the food. It is that easy!
All you need to do is set the table, provide the drinks (and don’t forget the coffee and tea) and arrange some nibbles on arrival and something for the grazing board. It sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? It is!
On arrival | I put together a few healthy dips for arrival and set up the table with a long wooden board. I was thrilled that I got to use one of the two wooden boards I picked up a short while beforehand, and on sale (show me a woman who does not love a bargain!).
Photo | arrival tasting board
I used my food stands to elevate the food. I always like to use varying heights, not all the same. If you don’t have food stands, you can use just about anything. Maybe you could try a mix of round and square glass bowls turned upside down. If you want to be truly creative, place a smaller glass bowl in the base and fill it with a single flower. If you are looking for a more rustic look, you can use wooden serving bowls, wrapped boxes for a particular theme, garden pots and the like (ideas here are endless). Just make sure that the base is stable. You don’t want your serving dishes tipping up on the table.
I cannot believe that I overlooked photographing the dessert, and I am disappointed that I don’t have anything to share with you here. I can however confirm that the lime tart and homemade hazelnut chocolates were both delicious.
Menu Ideas | A few grazing board ideas (remembering lunch and women command something a little lighter and healthier… so that we get to eat all the sugar we want afterwards):
Spicy red capsicum dip
Homemade seeded biscuits
Salad | figs, feta, prosciutto
Salad | tomato, bocconcini, basil leaves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Meat | shaved honey ham
Olives | green, stuffed green & black olives
Quiche | Roast tomatoes, parmesan and ham
Antipasto | marinated mushrooms, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes
Fresh vegetables | radishes, carrots, asparagus and shaved parmesan
Fresh fruit | green grapes and strawberries
Filo Triangles | curry beef
Dried fruits & nuts | mango and candied walnuts
French baguettes with garlic butter, wholemeal loaf and dry biscuits
Dessert | Tasting Plate:
Lime tart, clotted cream and rich vanilla ice cream
Homemade chocolates with hazelnuts
Tea and Coffee