Welcome! Come in, pull up a cushion (yes, cushion) and sit down. Make yourself comfortable, and let me tell you a little about how I love to eat.
When I recall my fondest food memories, they’re filled with people sharing simple food, family-style. People crowded around a table, passing bites around. People curled up with their feet on the sofa, wineglass perched delicately on the armrest. People sitting on cushions eating casually, no utensils required. And I’m not off fussing in the kitchen; I’m with everyone else, enjoying every last bite of baguette, Brie and blackberry, not giving a second thought to anything other than the moment. If that sounds like an experience you would like to be a part of, this book is for you, because that’s the beauty of a big, bountiful board, a board full of food to pick and share from. Because of that board, I don’t have to be stressing over dinner—I can sit back and enjoy the company of my family and friends. For me, the recipe for a perfect gathering is: Find some good company.
Gather around a big board.
Make some great memories.
I truly believe you don’t have to prep and plan an elaborate spread every time you want to entertain. The effort that goes into hosting shouldn’t overshadow what you serve. But the pressure we put on ourselves can be overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve been there. Anticipating guests on the weekend, scouring my cookbooks for that perfect dish, making four stops to gather every item in a long list of ingredients. Then, after following the recipe to the letter, closing the oven door and just praying it works. Only for when the guests finally arrive, to still be too busy in the kitchen to actually spend time with them! That used to be me. But not anymore. It was when I had a family of my own that I realized how fast time passes and that the little moments in life are what really matter. I didn’t want to miss those moments because I was too busy whisking a sauce to hear the stories being shared in the other room.
Serving food on boards is the perfect solution to serving something delicious that has also, almost entirely, been prepared in advance. Most of what goes onto a board can be made ahead of time, so you never have the stress of timing a perfect meal. And the best thing about boards is that no matter your culinary skill level, you can create something beautiful. But no matter how the board turns out, it will be the stories, laughter and company that people will remember. Whether you’re having a picnic with close friends or a fabulous New Year’s Eve celebration, boards are really about the people sitting around them and give you a real chance to eat, share and connect with those you love.
Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Dawn Bolton. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.