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Set Up a Buffet

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2006

The following tips can help make your Thanksgiving extra special.

1. Choose dishes that can be cooked ahead and warmed for serving, or dishes that can be assembled at the last minute.

2. Position the buffet table away from the wall, so that guests have access from all sides.

3. A few days before Thanksgiving, take out serving pieces and utensils for each dish. Map out what will go where, to be sure that it all fits neatly on the table.

4. Mix and match coordination dishes and serving plates.

5. Protect your linens by placing empty saucers around the table so guests can rest serving utensils on them and not on the tablecloth.

6. Lay out food in a logical order: entrees before side dishes.

7. Save space for food by displaying low arrangements.

8. Choose flowers that aren't heavily scented, so they won't compete with the aroma of food.

9. Use small accents like nuts to fill any empty spots on the table.

10. Put together a menu that includes different colors, textures, and flavors.

11. Set up a separate station for drinks and another one for dessert.

12. Bundle utensils in folded napkins.

Special Thanks
Many thanks to Layla for providing napkins and runners and to Elise Abrams Antiques for providing their beautiful dishes for Martha's Thanksgiving buffet table.

86 Hoyt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-222-1933

Elise Abrams Antiques
11 Stockbridge Road, Route 7
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Phone: 413-528-3201

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