I like to have parties… but not necessarily at typical times. The holiday and new year are filled with so many planned gatherings by others that I try to keep myself clear of the craziness.
The weeks following the arrival of January 1 are often filled with such a let down. The practice of removing the traces of holiday and settling into some cold, stormy days can be less than exciting.
Sunday afternoons offer the perfect time for getting together. My family and friends don’t have as much going on, and we all so look forward to visiting sans all the gifts and expectations.
I keep it fairly simple… lots of easy-to-prepare foods that can be served at or close to room temperature. Fruit and herbal hot teas are welcome on a cold afternoon. I also offer collections of several miniature desserts so guests feel like they can indulge a bit. I invite guests over from 2 to 4 pm, play some light jazz music in the background, and serve up conversation that is as easygoing as the food.
My go-to dishes include chicken salad with grapes and walnuts, chocolate mouse made with Nutella, and no-bake cheesecakes created with marscapone cheese.
For cold drinks, I usually serve a citrus punch, which is just a mixture of fresh juice and ginger ale with lots of cut-up fruit.
A salad and fresh vegetables round out the offerings.
Generous tea cups and colorful roses set the stage for this special luncheon. My hobnail glasses add texture and color to the table.
So grab an afternoon and elevate simple foods with some special serving ideas. Your friends and family will thank you.
- Here’s a nice excuse to bring out your fancy silver and feel free to mix with your everyday dishware.
- Soften the scene by layering textiles like a tablecloth, runner, placemats and cloth napkins.
- Use two or three teapots filled with different flavors of tea.
- Even store bought morsels look fancy presented on
- Use footed items such as bowls, cakestands and compotes to vary height in your tablescape.