Up until a few years ago, I didn’t do much on Mother’s Day in the way of meal preparation. Nowadays I don’t mind preparing my desired meal. Don’t get me wrong my family would take over the kitchen in a heartbeat but it’s really no big deal. What I like to have is a no fuss meal where some of the items can be prepared or at least started ahead of time. Add a pretty table to the mix and it’s as near perfect as it can be. Enter the buffet. After the meal, I can add individual place settings, use the flowers as a centerpiece and the table will still be pretty.
Brunches are very popular for Mother’s Day. However, a late morning meal doesn’t always work for us so I shifted mealtime to late afternoon with breakfast/dinner fare. We have breakfast for dinner quite often so brinner was no problem.
One thing different on this table and a lesson learned from a previous buffet table is the use of a paper cloth and matching napkins. When I bought this cloth from Party City, I assumed that the pattern extended to the whole cloth and not just the overhang. Next time I will examine the package a bit further. I decided to use the cloth as the runner and hope that there won’t be any oopsies on my fabric cloth.
Some years back I read that one hostess uses a cloth napkin for the lap and a paper one for the lips. Brilliant idea! Paper products have come a long way and the array of colors and patterns are endless. It’s not something that I will do all of the time but I see nothing wrong with taking this precautionary step.
I decided to use the paper cloth as the runner and hope that there won’t be any oopsies on my lilac fabric one. I used a lilac floral garland on one side of the runner for a bit more flourish. As tempted, as I often was to make a run and purchase matching chafing dishes and the like I decided that mixing and matching serving pieces is not a bad thing either.
On the menu, we have Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping, Sausage and Provolone Cheese Frittata, Rosemary Hash browns, Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Lime Sparking Water, Orange/Pineapple/Mango Juice, Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Coffee and Tea were ready in the kitchen.
I like for the food on my buffet tables to have height. Adding height gives the buffet table visual appeal and makes particular dishes more easily accessible. Create height by using various stands or risers. These risers can be boxes overturned pots, books, etc. Of course when using items that may be unsightly, you’ll want to cover them with either tablecloths or pieces of fabric that coordinate with the theme and color palette. What ever you use, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the item placed on it.
My goal was to have a gradual slope in height. The French Toast Casserole is actually in a chafing dish so sits a little higher. The Rosemary Hash browns are elevated on a clear acrylic box filled with flowers and embellished with lilac ribbon. I used two metal trivets for the Italian Sausage Frittata. They height and protection because the dish was hot. For the strawberries, I used two bowls from the dinnerware. One overturned and used as a base and the other for the berries.
I placed the cutlery in vases. They and the napkins are on the other side of the table. Those should be the last items guests pick up so they don’t have to juggle too many things at one time. The beverages and glasses sit in a white tray that also holds a vase with flowers and feathers. I felt that this placement was a neutral spot that would make it easier to grab after filling their plates.
To ensure that the vision in your head or on paper will really work have a dress rehearsal before you actually set the food on the table. First, cover your table if that is a part of the plan. Assemble any risers or stands that you plan to use and set them in place adjusting the spacing if necessary and cover them if need be. Also, set out your plates, cups, cutlery and any other utensils you plan to use. If your arrangement includes a centerpiece, bring that to the table as well. Keep in mind that a centerpiece doesn’t always have to be in the center of the table. As long as it isn’t in the way of guests serving themselves or hanging over the food, it can work.
Over the next couple of days, I’ll share the recipes for this relaxed and inviting buffet so please visit again and check it out.
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