Saturday, November 5, 2011
A Feast for the Eyes...or Presentation is Everything!
We eat with our eyes first. It's true. Especially me, a visual person. I eat with my smeller next, it has to smell good, too, but first I must be drawn to the dish with my eyes before I ever try to sneak a smell and before I take the first bite.
The photo above is from a small wedding party I had in my home for my son and his wife. They were married out of state, and plan to have a reception later for everyone, however, we wanted to celebrate their marriage in a non-fancy way before-hand, so I made up my son's favorite dishes and added a few more simple things, but served them on all nice serving pieces and it became special.
I remember back in 1979, my Freshmen year of high school, Mrs. Pappas instructed us on the importance of contrasting colors and textures for our meals. She explained how no one wants to eat an "all-brown meal" (beef, brown gravy, brown rice, chocolate cake)or an all-smooth textured one (dumplings,mashed potatoes, applesauce, pudding).At this point in my life, these are no-brainers--I rarely have to stop and think about these lessons anymore- it is automatic while choosing my menu selection.
However, something I notice often, is how many very ordinary dishes, can look EXTRAordinary just by serving them from a not-so-ordinary dish!
This is just yogurt with fruit and granola, that was first served to me at a Bed and Breakfast as a first course. (I've never served mine any other way now!)
Simple dessert can be revved up much the same way.I often go to thrift stores to purchase interesting stemware to serve pudding, ice cream, etc. It makes such a difference!
My Pumpkin Mousse is much more appealing served this way, don'tcha think?
And here, I served simple fruits and marshmallows to be dipped from a chocolate fountain. I used pretty vintage glass dishes (from an antique shop)to serve them and it took on a more elegant look, although there is really nothing fancy about this at all!
Simple pretzel rods dipped in almond bark and rolled in colored sprinkles, served on nice glass apothecary jars, even looked fancy.
Or simple veggies can look much more appetizing served in a bright contrasting colored dish ( or bright veggies served in a contrasting colored dish).
Do me a favor...DON'T serve the dish you bring to the Thanksgiving table in your plastic Tupperware (great products, just not for the serving table)or old chipped, faded dishes. Make your guests feel special just by putting some thought into the serving pieces.
You don't have to spend a lot of money. Thrift stores, yard sales and Dollar stores are FILLED with great finds.
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These are a few of my favorite pieces:
The dishes are GORGEOUS! Such beautiful detail...
This stand will hold various cookies I am making for Thanksgiving. I will use it again at Christmas- probably decorating the top. It will also hold plates and bowls full of your favorite recipes! And what an eye-catcher!
*I keep this on my island in the kitchen. SOmedays it serves as a large grocery list or to-do list, but most days, I write inspirational messages on it to remind me of the really important things!
And of course, every good cook, needs a good apron.
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