As we head into the last celebration of 2014, I wanted to gush for a moment on what you probably call cheese plates or meat plates or some-plate-filled-with-cheese-and-meat-and-crackers-and-such. I now affectionately call them “Share Boards” — because they always end up being big boards or entire tables filled with anything delicious upon which we all graze, graze, graze and enjoy together.
The holiday time is the right time to write about the 5 Reasons to Love Share Boards:
1. Share Boards can make up a complete meal. They are generally stuffed with some sort of protein like salami or prosciutto; dairy (or fat), like two cheeses or ten; fresh fruit like grapes or figs or clementines; pickled vegetables like bread-and-butter pickles, cornichons, Pickled Fennel, carrots, tomatoes, olives or bowls of leftover salsa; and carbohydrates, a la crackers, bread or seedy toast.
2. Share Boards bring people together. After a really fun dinner with 100 people in October, where all 100 people shared about 10 boards filled with cheese and honey and nuts and pickles and bread, I loved how a full board of food brought all 100 of us together into our own little tribe who hovered around cheese and such. The togetherness and the sharing was kinda fun.
3. Share Boards take minutes to assemble and even less time to clean up. Pull out a board or, even better, cover a table with craft, parchment or wax paper. Pile everything directly onto the paper, except for some of the liquidy-pickle-type stuff. If you have a comfortable crew who don’t mind digging in, hand them each something to slice for the board. Once devoured, toss the plates into the dishwasher and the paper with scraps into the trash.
4. Share Boards reinvent a fridge of leftovers that seem tired or boring. When placed with purpose, they make those leftovers shine. Just trim up the cheese, pour the last of the pickles into a fresh bowl, pile the meat into little parcels, and slip forks and knives in between it all.
5. Share Boards have something for everyone and can generally please all food-types. If your sister is a vegetarian who eats cheese, you’ve got her covered. If your brother is a vegan, he’s covered with all the fruit and veggies. If your dad only eats meat, well, there’s meat but also a chance to introduce him to lots of other food groups. Kids may eat up the fruit and the tiny toasts, but just let them. They’re happy.
In fact, you’re all happy. Cheers to Share Board season! xo
Photos styled and taken by Maggie Battista.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019.