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Underworld Feast: Tips and Tricks for Building a Halloween Boo-ffet

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It’s Halloween season, which means it’s time for spooky gatherings! If you’re the one hosting this time, you’re probably going to want to put out some treats for your guests, which means you have to come up with a plan for a buffet. Here are a few quick and easy tips on how to up your buffet game using items you may already have around the house:

Picnic Tie the Tablecloth

If you want your tablecloth to have a cleaner look instead of dragging on the floor where it might get stepped on, consider doing a “picnic tie” to square your edges.  A picnic tie works like so:

  • Put the table cloth on the table and position it so that the edges are just kissing the floor
  • At the narrow end of the table, grab the corners of the table cloth
  • Tie the corners together
  • Tuck the knot behind the smooth middle bit of the table cloth
  • Adjust as necessary
  • Repeat steps on the other side of the table

Here’s a diagram, to help visualize all that:

This will result in clean, square edges.

Display Things in Unusual Vessels

Instead of putting everything in the same bowl, do you have some unique glassware to show off, or perhaps a tea set lying around? Why not incorporate those items into the décor? For this setup, we went with grapes in wine glasses and used a teacup as a cookie-holder.

Incorporate Levels

One way to make a buffet table more visually interesting is to put things at different heights. This keeps you from having to squeeze all the platters next to each other and makes the food look more abundant. Here we’ve used a couple of glass bowls (with flat bottoms) to prop up a cutting board-turned-cheese and cracker display. We’ve also incorporated a cake stand, that’s secretly sitting on a sturdy box that’s hidden beneath the table cloth.

Add Some Colors

When picking out foods to display, add a few things for some pops of color. Here we went for two different colors of grape for a colorful mix. We also added some festive fall red with apples and, the old Hades fan-favorite, pomegranates. Pomegranates are an especially good choice because they can be very visually intriguing whole and when you slice them open. (And, clearly, they’re also delicious.)

Fluff Out the Food

Food displays really well when it looks like there’s a bounty of it. Instead of buying extra food you won’t necessarily need to plump out the display, try angling things instead. Here, instead of piling a ton of extra crackers underneath the cheese, we’ve secretly hidden a tea ball to help the cheese sit up and plump out the crackers. Simply open up a tea ball and prop up the cheese on it, then surround it with crackers. Additionally, if you fan out crackers or pita bread, it looks like there’s more of it.

Roll Up Utensils

Are you serving more of a dinner instead of nibbles? Consider rolling up your utensils into simple-to-stack and easy-to-grab bundles. Here’s how:

  • Fold the napkin in half into a triangle
  • Place your knife on the fold of the napkin, and your fork on top of the knife, and, if your using spoons, a spoon on top of the fork
  • Roll in a couple of inches
  • Fold the long ends of the napkins in
  • Keep rolling the rest of the way

Here’s another diagram:

Roll ups can be easily stacked and are neater than having everyone grapple with silverware piece by piece.

Additional Decor

As an extra touch, we’ve added a raven bookend to watch over the Halloween proceedings and a teapot filled with flowers. The only rule here is that anything you add to the table needs to be ok to have around food. And, of course, candles are an old standby for any buffet. Here we’ve used tapered candles, but if your buffet is going to be more high traffic, consider votives, which are more sturdy.

Bon appetit!

All images via E.K. Leimkuhler

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About The Author

E. caught the first ten seconds of a Dracula movie on TV while in first grade and immediately became obsessed. She's a huge fan of Gothic lit, outrageous horror movies, strange cats, and DIY projects involving black glitter. She has a degree in Medieval Studies and a background in costume. She is learning how to Instagram.

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