I have this great idea for this great meal. I was about seven years old and attending this great gala dinner in a big hotel. My memory is a bit pale when it comes to all the food served, but I remember these flambéed crêpes. You know how children love playing with fire and seeing this blaze of blue fire and no smoke was just exhilarating. This will be something that I will definitely do when I grow up. Well, even 33 years later I still didn’t grow up. Apparently I’m still childish and I intend to keep it this way, so playing with fire will have to wait. 🙂
Good food is best shared
Of course you can brag about great food you made, but the best promotion is word of mouth. Literally in this case! Invite some friends over and let them taste your inventions. Possibly also share your recipe.
I have seen so many blogs about preparing great food, including some great recipes and even better photos, but most of them (including my previous ones) are lacking the final touch. How will you present the food? What will you serve it with? We usually forget these little things when we are inspired and letting it out. It is always good to sit back a little bit and think about the big picture. First that would come to one’s mind are side dishes, garnishes. Then there are plates to think about. Is pasta best served on a big plate or in a deep one? Parmesan cheese goes with pasta of course. Did you know that you will spoil waiter’s day if you will ask for parmesan with seafood pasta?
Food and wine
What about accompanying drinks? There are simple rules which wines go with certain dishes. White wine (dry, semi-dry) should complement white meat (fish, poultry); red wine goes with all other types of food. This is only a basic rule, which almost calls for breaking. If you are not brave enough to do this in a restaurant, try it at home. Go to the shop, buy some wines and try different combinations with your dish. Keep the cork to close the not finished bottle(s). You can always have some wine next day. Or you could use the remaining wine for some delicious recipe next day. You can make wine sauce from red wine, or add white wine to zucchini sauce, or just coarsely chop veggies (if they are finely sliced, they will not be crunchy after cooking), add big chunks of chicken meat, combine it with wine in a pan, and let it simmer for about half an hour and you will get an amazing dish. Try it! Yummy!
Creating a meal
Now we have a nicely arranged plate, we know which wine will go with the dish. Do we have all we need? Entertaining in style requires more. You need to arrange dishes in some sort of order. You can start with appetizer, have some soup, serve main course, and round it with mouth-watering dessert. Serve wine(s) with the dishes. Don’t forget water and soft drinks. Also different glasses for different drinks are a good idea.
Depending on the time of the day, or occasion you can arrange the dining area appropriately. Candles are suitable, but they need to provide enough light for eating, unless your dish didn’t really work well and you want to hide the burnt glitches. Indirect light is a good idea as well. Table arrangement is a whole science, but let’s not complicate too much. Just try to have enough cutleries on the table and some napkins, maybe some flowers here and there. It should be enough. Don’t forget about some background music. You are good to go.
There are always added extras that can impress your guests and disturbing ones as well that will steal your guests’ attention. I remember a guy who kept starring to my digital photo frame. I admit the slideshow is really attractive. 🙂 It’s good to shut down DPF for a while or set the frequency to 1 photo per 10 minutes at least during the meal. You can also have some salt and pepper mills on the table. For a special touch you can have a baseball bat shaped one or extremely long mills as seen on the photo – for an idea how long they are there are the following coins in-between them: 1Euro and 4 crowns, namely Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Estonian ones. This is the hint for my next big blogging chapter – Travelling and Photography. Stay tuned.