Make It Special, But Keep It Easy

This time of year brings welcome visits from far-away family, but we don’t always have time to make a big production out of special dinners.

We recently had a visiting relative, Uncle Jerry from Seattle, and wanted to serve him a simple but elegant meal.

We settled on filet mignon, baked potatoes and salad for the menu, classic and simple dishes that are easy to make but still make you feel like you’re getting a treat.  Dessert was scones and slices of a marvelous pear tart from a local bakery.  Easy-peasy.

Spending a half hour decorating the table made all the difference, along with the cloth napkins and bay leaf place cards.  Uncle Jerry validated the strategy when he arrived:  “Wow, this is fancy!”  (We didn’t tell him that it was quick ‘n easy.)

It was really nice to host Uncle Jerry and make him feel special without spending hours in the kitchen on what was an absolutely gorgeous fall day (see my recently posted ePostcard for the visuals). It’s amazing how setting a beautiful table creates a festive mood.

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