This week the Sweetwater clan gathered for a belated birthday party for little old me.
With an almost 3 year old and a two month old to work around, it makes no sense to try to serve any kind of sit down meal these days. We are all too busy holding babies and playing with toys to sit down at the table.

The solution: Charcuterie!
Ooh La La!! Doesn’t that sound french and fancy? 
So what is Charcuterie? 
The definition is actually the shop where you buy cured meats….but it has come to mean the way of serving them.
Basically it is just a fancy word for a big platter of cold meats (usually cured), cheeses, fruit and nuts!
The Sweetwater Daughter delivered a huge bag of goodies from Aldi of all places.
My job was to figure out how to make our Charcuterie look something like this!

 When I showed this photo to Mr. S….he immediately focused on the BOARD….not the food arrangement.
So off to the woodworking shop he went.

He bought a beautiful piece of bamboo and some cutting board oil.
After a quick sanding and a bit of oil….we had the perfect base for our Charcuterie Board…and I got a nice belated birthday gift!
I had the food….
I had the board….
Here is the result!

 I decided that this was a time to use paper plates.  You know I love to use all my pretty dishes….but I knew people would be filling a plate….then going back again and again.  Paper seemed to be “friendlier” for the repeat customers.

We have a whole bunch of inexpensive tongs that came from the party store.  They were perfect for this serve yourself menu.

 There was so much food….the cheeses needed to go on their own board…a slab of marble that has been laying around here for years….perfect!

 I have to say….Mr. S. was right about the board needing to be “just right”!
 After I took the photos…..the crunchy french bread was added.
And….the Sweetwater Son and DIL added some wonderful beef bites… 
Some tips for doing this:
Set out the main board and any other platters you will need.
Lay down some large colorful lettuce leaves.
Then unpack all those wonderful meats and arrange them in lovely piles. Sausages should be in bite sized chunks.  Rolled thin sliced meats and arrange them.
Tuck in grapes, nuts, olives and pickles.  I don’t like pickle juice on my meat!  Put these juicy items in small bowls or on plates.
Arrange cheeses on a separate platter/board so there is plenty of space for self-serve cutting.
Add some interesting condiments…..we had some fabulous fig preserves that paired beautifully with the cherry cheese on the board. 
When the Grandboy was running around doing what boys do….
When the Grandgirl was needing to be fed and cuddled…..
Everyone could enjoy the company and still have a pretty wonderful meal.
You may well want to try this for yourself….
Footnote:  I realized after using the french word for a food platter…..that in fact our heritage includes a lot of Swedish blood….what we really had was a SMORGASBORD!  
Have A Wonderful Day!
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