Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Method: Centerpieces

It's December 2nd. Are you planning your Holiday table centerpiece yet? Ha! Well just in case you are, i thought I'd share some helpful tips that I use in my catering and at home...

keep it simple: Simple really is better, cheaper and easier. I try not to use more than 3 elements at the same time

keep it low: you want to be able to see across the table!

keep away from flowers: now before I anger florists everywhere, let me be perfectly clear; I love flowers. I just don't like to use them for the table. The odor can be too strong, pollen can get everywhere, etc.

keep it fresh: what do I like to use? Fruits, veggies, spices, herbs, and natural materials. It can really tie a meal together if you decorate with some of the same ingredients you cooked with! Fresh rosemary on the lamb + on the table will complement, rather than distract.

For Thanksgiving, I used some GORGEOUS Romanesco Cauliflower
with some pine cones I sent the kids out to scavenge. I love the bright punch of chartreuse the cauliflower gives and earthiness of the pine cones.

I also love using rock salt or whole peppercorns as a base for candles and herbs. It makes for an unexpected and beautiful way to showcase elements of your dinner. During the winter, citrus is at it's peak and is a great, inexpensive way to add a punch of color. Think oranges, kumquats, Meyer lemons. Blood oranges are particularly lovely when cut in half to see their deep red flesh.

While the centerpiece is not the highlight of a Holiday dinner, it can add rather than distract from all your hard work in the kitchen! Have some unique ideas? Send 'em to me! I'd love to see photo, too!

Want more tips + recipes for entertaining? is the only place to purchase my series of CD-Roms featuring Classic Cocktail Party and Dinner Party for 12! They make great gifts, too...