Entertaining Hints

I think entertaining is fun. Some people, ahhh not-so much. Today I start  a new series of posts with entertaining hints, little ideas to make it easier…

One year I spent a holiday weekend with friends in a couple of rented beach houses in St Simons.  Our house invited the other house for cocktails and appetizers, before we headed out for dinner.  The kitchen was sparsely supplied, so I searched through the house and found baskets, beach themed plates and even a huge ‘crab’ ash tray.  We wash them all thoroughly, especially the ash tray(!), and used them as serving pieces. Our friends were impressed that we’d pulled off such a  nice presentation. This opened my eyes to looking at items in a new perspective – for example , every one of the table lamps in my home, started out as something else.

planter basket with napkinplanter basket with spot for ramekin









One of my favorite re-purposing ideas for entertaining is to use planters as serving pieces – particularly baskets with liners.  I love using napkins to line baskets, but hate when the extra fabric flops out  all over the place (hopefully, not into the accompanying dip).  A few years ago I decided to use a basket I’d received as a plant gift. Just as I was about to throw out the plastic liner, I realized if I covered the plastic insert with the napkin  and then put the liner into the basket, I get the look of the napkins without extra fabric flopping around. All the extra fabric goes under the liner – nice and neat. The two photos above show 2 planters I use ALL the time.  The basket on the right even has a little indention that fits a ramekin exactly – perfect for veggie and dip. Have a favorite basket?  Try taking it to your local garden store and find a liner that fits.  For larger baskets, you can use a remnant of fun fabric or kitchen towel, instead of a napkin. Imagine a  cowboy print fabric in a basket with chips or buns.

btw – I always buy 8 napkins at a time.  I generally have 6 people for a dinner party, my table handles 7 in a pinch. That gives me 1-2 napkins to use for serving –  to coordinate with the rest of the table decorations.


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