|Dipping sauce bowl and wooden serving spoon|
The true difference between a nice table and a sensational table is really the company around it, however that doesn't mean that presenting a meal beautifully and with style is a wasted effort. The way that you show off your food is almost as important as the way that it tastes. People do almost as much eating with their eyes as they do with their tastebuds!
While there is something endearing about a slap-dash meal with a few good mates, there is nothing quite as satisfying as an amazingly presented dinner table. When it is evident that much effort and thought has gone in to the preparation of a meal and the setting of your table people really appreciate it, even if it's not conscious on their part. You need to spend a little time- not a lot of money- to create a table with 'wow'.
Make sure that you think about what kind of serving dishes you already have at home before you plan what you want to cook for your guests. If you don't have something nice to serve your meal on you have two choices; re-jig your menu, or buy yourself some new serving-ware. I personally would re-jig the menu, because I'm a bit of a cheapskate.
A great collection of crockery is an amazing thing, and taking your time to collect it over years makes it even more satisfying. Relatively cheap 'basic white' serving platters and dishes are available at supermarkets and stores like K-Mart and Target, and are often on sale. Check in homewares stores whenever you see that big 'sale' sign out the front. I actually keep a 'wish list' of things that I would really love to own and wait until I see them on sale. When you see an opportunity to save, take it.
A great opportunity to build on your collection is when people ask you what you want for a gift. There's nothing wrong with asking for something that you really want! Let's face it, there are plenty of times you get a gift that you really don't like or will never use. When someone asks that magic question, be specific with what you want. Occasions like house-warming parties, anniversaries and engagement parties are great for this! Not to mention the wedding registry.
Never rule out thrift stores and op-shops! Some of the coolest serving dishes and crockery are to be found in your local Vinnies. There's nothing wrong with an eclectic table of purposely mismatched pieces, just make sure there is something to tie everything together such as a pattern, a colour or pieces of similar sizes and shapes. The hunt is the most fun bit!
Dipping sauce bowl available at Woolworths.
Small wooden serving spoon available from;
"Morning Tea", Shop 16a, 79 Sailors Bay Rd
Northbridge, NSW 2063 Ph: (02) 9958 2924