An Autumn Party


Butternut soup and pot roast welcome the season!

By FamilyTime

 By the time fall comes around in all its colorful glory, the farmstands and markets are full-to-bursting with wonderful fruits and vegetables begging to be cooked into warm, relaxing meals. Why not plan a small dinner party to celebrate the season?

Set the Table
Days are getting short now and so it’s time to set the table in the dining room. Use a warm-hued table cloth or placemats and a low-slung arrangement of fall mums. Or, put a bowl filled with bright colored gourds and Indian corn in the center of the table.

Thick, rustic plates fit the mood, but if you don’t have them use good china or an assortment of antique plates. Be sure to set the table with oversized cloth napkins to convey luxury and well being.

If you plan to serve wine, set the table with the right wine glasses for the style of wine. Red wine should be poured into rounder wine glasses, while white wine into more oval-shaped ones.

Choose candles in fall hues, such as greens, dark reds, and browns. These may be tall, graceful tapers, or chunky pedestal candles that sit directly on the table.

The Menu
Think about autumn produce when you plan the meal.  Start with butternut soup and a pear, walnut and dried cranberry salad mixed with arugula and radicchio. Or, serve cream of broccoli soup and some homemade cheese crisps.  

The main course could be a simple as roast chicken or pot roast, or you may decide to serve a beef or pork stew.  Of course, you might like to surprise your guests with a steak grilled outside on the chilly patio. It will taste divine and everyone will appreciate the char-broiled flavor and the memory of summer it brings.

End the evening with baked apples, a pear-and-apple tart, cinnamon ice cream served with molasses cookies, or spice cake. All say autumn and all are deliciously sweet.

 As you and your guests linger into the dark evening, you will feel the sense of contentment that comes only when good friends and good food come together in a relaxed and unhurried way.