A couple of weeks ago, the tulips in the yard were blooming like crazy. My friends Deloris and Sue were over and we were being wild women in the kitchen. We had plans on a grand scale for a number of complex recipes, but in the meantime we were starving. We had a rotisserie chicken and a few other odds and ends. Step one was to cut a bouquet of tulips. Once that was done, the table practically dressed itself. I chose dishes and placemats that would play well off the colors in the flowers. There needs to be one color that is dominant.
Quick and Pretty Aren’t Mutually Exclusive Just because lunch needs to be quick doesn’t mean it can’t also be pretty. Beautiful dishes are like a dash of lipstick. Colorful placemats are like a little blush. The flowers are like a full head of hair. They pull together a polished, attractive appearance. It’s just as easy to wash and dry pretty dishes as it is ugly dishes. Think about it. I had some leftover Fun Bites (antipasto skewers) and filling for Vegetable Cheese Quesadillas. I threw the veggie quesadilla filling in with some organic baby greens from the Farmers Market, laid out the little skewers, and threw together some Last Resort Pasta. Lunch is served!
From there, it was ten minutes until we were ready to sit down and eat. We tore the meat from the chicken, mixed in mayo and chopped celery with one half of the chicken meat and mayo, Splenda, chopped celery and curry powder with the other. I threw in some sugar-free apricot jam at the last moment for a little extra flavor. The point is, the food doesn’t have to be elaborate (we had two types of chicken salad, julienned Granny Smith apple on the side, and a simple avocado, shallot, tomato salad and a very simple place setting), but it looked very well put-together. What’s in YOUR garden? And if the answer is “Nothing” because it’s the dead of winter or you live in a high-rise or you have a brown thumb, use the same principle with a store-bought bouquet.