image via kpbs.org
Many of you are probably familiar with Chef Lucinda Scala Quinn. She's part of the Martha Stewart Omnimedia clan, TV host, etc. I love to cook but I've never been into "the food world" much and so while I know the names of many of today's celebrity chefs I rarely turn my head when I see mention of them on TV or in a magazine. So it was unusual that yesterday I decided to read an article, while at the doctor's office, in the May 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living about a day in the life of Lucinda Scala Quinn.
But how glad I am that I did because in one short sentence she said something that rocked my world and changed how I will do dinner from now on for probably the rest of my life. She said she serves all the food for dinner to the table on one large platter. Why have I never thought of that? Why have I been plating things up so often or putting everything on serving plates and in bowls when it totally wasn't necessary?
Now of course this is totally situational. You wouldn't dump soup and rolls on a platter together and splash them all over the table. You wouldn't put foods that need to be chilled onto a platter with hot foods. But if you're serving meat, potatoes and a vegetable it makes total sense to put it together nicely on a platter which is easy to cover and keep warm until everyone is seated. It also is much easier to put in the middle of the table so everyone can reach. No passing dishes around. Dinner is available in front of everyone at the same time.
Last Friday I served green beans with our steak, potatoes and breaded mushrooms. They got set aside and at the end of the meal I realized we hadn't eaten them. This would not be a problem if the steaks, potatoes, mushrooms and green beans had been beautifully arranged on one large tray.
I own a lot of beautiful platters that just sit in a drawer unless I am entertaining. Well I'm now entertaining the idea they they need to be out and used often. Imagine one trip to the table instead of multiple trips with a variety of dishes. Less dishes to wash too. I just love this idea. It is so simple but feels so life changing.
The vision of food beautifully arranged on a tray excited me too. It sounds so pretty and visually appealing to the family to see it all lovingly presented together. It kind of makes every day feel like Thanksgiving. Even if you buy a roasted chicken and just quickly whip up some side dishes think how gorgeous it would all look on a pretty platter.
I'm pulling my platters out people! It's time to start using them and using fewer dishes and making my life simpler. This is one reason I love to read. You never know what little tidbit you might find on the pages of a magazine that will change the way you live your life. Thanks Lucinda Scala Quinn!
P.S. That's Lucinda there on the left along with Martha and the Everyday Food TV team. Notice she's posing with meals presented on platters.