When it comes to holiday entertaining, I like to keep it simple. In fact, that’s my motto for all entertaining. Effortlessly chic is always in style, so whether its a cocktail party or a sit down dinner and no matter what season we are in, I opt for simple cocktails and easy-to-execute meals. One year for Thanksgiving, I served champagne cocktails with a cheese and meat board, then for the entrée, individual Cornish game hens with roasted Brussels sprouts and a sweet potato mash accompanied by a choice of red or white wine. For dessert, roasted pears paired with Lillet Blanc. Each place setting included a printed menu, place mats and yellow cloth napkins with a minimalistic silver napkin ring, plus the floral centerpiece were all in a cheery harvest color palette of taupe, orange, yellow and silver. It was a refreshing change from the usual turkey offerings presented with darker hues and the spread looked delightful with each plate featuring its own tiny little roasted hen.
We really are simple creatures and more than anything, delicious fare served with festive beverages, a hint of whimsy and good conversation with great friends or family will always be a hit. Not that I haven’t suffered a disaster or two over the years. But when the ham is ruined, just remember that’s why the good Lord invented pizza. Laugh it off and comfort yourself in knowing that everyone loves a pizza party.
If you fear a kitchen nightmare, be sure to check out our entertaining feature Comfort and Joy on page 68. We teamed up with Joy Wilson, aka Joy the Baker for a holiday brunch class and she shared a host of delectable recipes, tips and tricks.
Cheers and happy holidays to you and yours, no matter how elaborately or simply you celebrate!
P.S. After more than 10 years writing “Living with Antiques” Laura Claverie is retiring from her column and moving on to a new venture. Please join me in thanking her for enlightening us on all things antiques and in wishing her the best. Turn to page 34 to read her farewell and learn what’s next. Laura always turned in her column two months early — which is nearly unheard of in this business — and she is an absolute joy as a colleague and a person. Laura, we will miss you!