November 27, 2014

Buffet Table Fun

Etiquette vs Practicality

I hope all of you have been able to have a nice Thanksgiving with those you love. Hubby and I were treated to a wonderful Thanksgiving meal prepared by our daughter and son-in-law, with assistance from our granddaughter. Our son was also able to be with us in Lexington. Daughter set a very pretty table, and even better she baked the "family pie." It is very similar to a "Derby Pie." Oh my, the calories! There is magic when sugar, butter, and chocolate mix and bake in an oven. Ok, now on to my buffet table settings.

I am a planner. I like to plan table settings and arrangements just for fun. I like to plan buffets because when I entertain I usually set up a buffet in the dining room. But did you know that there are some very specific ways to arrange a buffet table? That is if you follow proper etiquette. Silverware here, plates there, coffee or tea service arranged just so. I know that today few follow such rules...but I still think that it is important. My mother-in-law left an etiquette book in my soon-to-be husband's appartment. After we married I found the book, and made it my business to learn as much etiquette as possible. Again, folks kindof overlook rules and etiquette today...but none the less I drilled such things into my children as they grew up. I am happy to say that they are sensitive to the nuances of proper etiquette...from proper address, to proper table settings, to respect for one's elders. The old Emily Post book is still around here someplace in a moving box. 

I have read and studied (old) etiquette books that show the layout of a proper buffet table, depending on whether it is a casual or formal affair, etc. Well, my new dining room is too small for folks to leisurely walk around selecting items to eat. I have to modify the rules. Ha!  Due to the traffic pattern, a buffet in my dining room will need to be accessed from the ends and the one main side of the table. For me, that actually makes it easier to design a centerpiece display. I was trying out a few simple looks the other day and took photos as I was working. Maybe some of these will give you an idea or two as you prepare for holiday entertaining. I have learned that my own photos sometime help me to remember what I like and want to use.

Without further ado here are my centerpiece arrangements. All of them are "backed " up to the back side of the table. When doing this for company I would try to have fresh greenery and/or flowers. I think fresh is best when possible. By pushing the decorations to the back of the table...there is plenty of room for trays and plates of nibbles and sweets. I usually do not include beverage service on the dining table...leaving the coffee urn and tea or punch dispenser in the kitchen. 

This white platter is coming in so handy. I bought it just thinking it would be great for cheese and crackers. Glad that I did.

Always Believe!

I have two of these small Christmas trees in galvanized buckets. They come out every year at Christmastime. When the children were small we used to put tiny ornaments on them. Now, I just have curled gold fabric ribbon for a simple look.

You can see sand in the bottom of the candle holder. It catches the wax drips. If you are tired of dealing with wax drips on candle bases, try sand.

I think the platter needs greenery with red berries to complete this look. Keeping this picture in my file of table ideas will remind me of how to start and then I can finish the details when I have company.

I could not believe that this little platter held these three hurricanes perfectly. This opens up lots of possibilities. I could also just use these hurricanes as vases and have a grouping of fresh flowers.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at a few of my ideas. It is always good to have some ideas in your back pocket for when you entertain...and need to set up a pretty buffet table.

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Please share how you "arrange" people and food for special occasions in your home. Are you showing your children and grandchildren the nuances of proper table etiquette for social situations? What types of things are you teaching them? I think it is important to pass these things down to younger generations.  So, to wind up this daughter set a perfectly proper table with her Wedgewood china and her grandmother's silver. I am so proud of her, and my son. Mom's are like that. :-)

I am glad I read and studied Emily Post's book. I had home economics classes, as did all girls in my day, But I do not remember ever being taught all of the different table settings. Or maybe I was not paying attention. :-) 

As always, I very much appreciate your spending a few minutes of your day with me. 

Until the next time,

You Might Like These Christmas Themed Posts Too…

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A Kentucky Christmas Luncheon With Friends
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My Sweet Potato Casserole
A Holiday Home Tour, Lexington
Welcome Guests With A Festive Door and Windows
A Few Simple Ornaments
Buffet Table Fun
Another Christmas Centerpiece...sort of.
An Easy Christmas Centerpiece
Using Blue & White Spode for Christmas

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S H Elliott
S H Elliott

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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