Can you believe Thanksgiving is only 4 short weeks away? It seems these beautiful fall days are just flying by. As we quickly approach the holiday season, Rachel and I wanted to incorporate some of our favorite entertaining and decorating tips into the blog so we can all make the most of the season ahead.
Full disclosure, I needed Rachel's help for today's tips for setting a beautiful serving area for the Thanksgiving feast. I've always just been glad to have everything cooked, hot at the same time, and laid out on the counter! So as I'm writing this blog, I'm learning some new things that I plan on incorporating into my holiday festivities this year. So without further ado, here are some of Rachel's favorite tips for making your Thanksgiving buffet special.
- Display the Menu You've spent a long time planning and preparing a delicious meal. Why not let your guests have the opportunity to get excited about the mouth-watering treats to come! We love the idea of adding a chalkboard menu at the beginning of the buffet line. Or, you can type the menu out, print it on pretty stationary, and frame the menu at the beginning of the buffet. It will give everyone something to talk about, anticipate, and help draw everyone away from the football game when it's time to eat!
- Label the Food In addition to the menu, add labels to each dish using place card holders or little paper tents. If you have guests with food sensitivities, this is an easy way to let them know if foods contain nuts, gluten or dairy. Or, if your guests are bringing food, labels will let them know where to put the dishes when they arrive. You may even want to include the cook's name on the label as well, "Aunt Jean's Green Bean Casserole"
- Serving Dishes The most important thing to remember is that everything doesn't have to be "matchy-matchy." One reason we love our Mud-Pie serving pieces are their color - white. Bring out your favorite Mud-Pie pieces and mix them with other white, pewter or even clear serving pieces.
- Add Height Make the buffet visually interesting by adding height to some of your dishes. If the buffet has a table cloth, you can even put some boxes underneath the cloth to prop up dishes. We also like adding wood rounds, cake plates and pedestals.
- Plates When you serve food buffet style, where do you put the plates? There are a couple of options. You can always set the table with plates & have guests retrieve their plate from the table. Or, if you want to put the plates on the buffet instead with the table settings, you can still set your table with placemats, napkins and silverware.
- Napkins/Utensils If you are not setting the table with napkins or utensils, try putting them at the end of the buffet line rather than the beginning. It seems logical to put them at the beginning of the line with the plates. However, by placing them at the end, guests' hands are free to dish out the food.
Lovely Accents Your buffet line, whether it's a counter top, an actual buffet or even a folding table doesn't have to be boring! Unscented candles, florals and table runners can add beauty without distracting from the food. In the photo above, I didn't have a short enough table runner, so I hid 2 tea towels under a plate to make a mock runner! The important thing to remember when decorating a serving area is that you want the focus to be on the star of the show -- all that delicious food. (Unless, of course, you don't want to showcase the food...Then add lots of candles and flowers!!)
Most importantly, try not to stress out about it (I know, easier said than done!) Use things you already have, plan ahead, and don't hesitate to ask us for help! We're here for you, and we'd be glad to give you ideas and pointers.
Until next time, light a fall candle, start thinking about Thanksgiving, and come see us soon!