Fall is the perfect time of year for gathering. There is something about the crisp, cool air, the warmth of candlelight, comfort food and great friends.
To me, there is nothing more enjoyable than an intimate Fall gathering of good conversation and delectable food that is effortless and no-fuss, for both the guests and the host.
Here is how my husband, George and I, host a small, Fall gathering:
Setting the table
What's most enjoyable to me is setting the table. I always use a mix of things I already have around the house and the table can be set a few days in advance. The linens, woven place mats and a fall themed table runner. I always save the best for last and set out the vintage and heirloom platters, stands and dishes.
Bringing a little touch of the fall nature indoors creates warmth and class for your casual or intimate gathering. Deep burgundy, burnt orange dahlias and dark red leaves mirror the fall colors.
I love making charcuterie boards because they make for a stress free, no-fuss appetizer or dinner option. For my Fall inspired charcuterie board, I like to have a color scheme of Fall inspired board that can even have a bit of Halloween decor.
My first and only rule is no empty space! The more the merrier.
Cheeses this time of year come in all types of Fall variety, they can have cranberries, apricot or dusted in cinnamon. Those all make for a tasty touch of Fall.
Savory and salty comes in the form of olives and pickles, salty nuts and candied pecans.
For the crunch aspect, you can find Fig and black olive crackers or pumpkin and cranberry crackers at Trader Joe's for a reasonable price. You can also grab a baguette or three while you are there.
Sweetness is my favorite part of the charcuterie board and my go-to is honeycomb and pumpkin and apple butters.
When it comes to the garnish and decor, this is where you can bring out your inner artist and dive right in. Mini pumpkins and gourds make for very cute dip bowls if you cut off the top and remove the insides like you do when carving a pumpkin. Add a little fresh sage, dried apple slices and fresh figs.
I always place my little bowls and dishes filled with the butters/dips, olives and pickles first when I start my charcuterie board and build around them. You will typically move them around as you go, to get them just the way you want them as you place your other items. Charcuterie boards are meant to be fun so don't stress if you feel stuck. Just keep moving the items around.
I then add the cheeses and fruits next, followed by the meats. It may take moving things around as you go to achieve the look you are going for. Finish by adding your garnish and decor as the finishing touches.
I hope this helps give some guidance for the planning of your Fall charcuterie gathering!