Keeping Up Appearances
It's never a bad idea to add a bit of visual pleasure to your food offerings. Only after you have produced the maximum flavour from your ingredients, of course. Flavour first and foremost, please.
Tempting the eye as well as the palate with plated arrangements can then commence. We have built up a fair selection of platters on which to serve but every trip to a half decent eatery seems to offer a new design option. Experience has taught me to turn over a still empty side plate for a manufacturer's name rather than upend a main course in that search... oops! Attractive as many ceramic designs are, they can prove rottenly expensive just for occasional use.
A few years ago I was serving a trio of puddings. One guest rumbled me pretty quickly and they weren't slow to ask for confirmation that I'd scraped out and re-used some glass votives from Christmas candles. My current production required a little more effort but I feel the results edge a wee bit more towards the professional side.
I'll not give detailed instructions as I hope the picture below explains what was used so that you can interpret and take things in your own way from there. A ceramic or vitreous tile and some moulding or framing profile is all I used for materials. The base elements were secured with PVA wood glue. The 45 degree cuts need to be exact or you could compensate by achieving the correct angle with sandpaper.
That mitre guide belonged to my Dad. In the early 1970s when he was in his late sixties he furnished just about every room of our family home with one or more bespoke pieces of furniture which he designed and fashioned with his own hands in a basement workshop. My brother has inherited that particular element of our genetic make-up more strongly than me. Using it has helped him towards earning a living and producing sometimes quirky but always practical and beautifully finished wooden artefacts. My projects have been a little less developed but I've never been afraid to have a go.
I ended up with two pairs of matching presentation surfaces. I'm happy that they enhance rather than detract from the food itself and intend continuing to use them. What you see below, apart from a modified prawn cracker, a chunk of nougat from a Barcelona market and Mrs Cheoff's Cheesy Dip, is all my own work.*
So why not have a go at making your own... the food and the plates. If I can you can.
* Details of that 'Curried Cheese Dip' and its place in our family history will be given a post of its own soon.