A Beautiful Table and a Few Simple Tricks

By Kim Hasty

My husband’s Aunt Carolyn is a woman of many talents. She enjoyed a long and successful career. She’s up on who’s winning the World Series and how the Carolina Panthers are faring. She can take a bouquet of store-bought flowers and make them look like they came from Martha Stewart’s garden. She sets a beautiful table whether the guest list is one or 21 (or more!)

One of my favorite things is how she can take grocery store items and use them to entertain guests in a way that looks as if she slaved in the kitchen for hours, but instead leaves her fresh enough to enjoy everyone’s company. Slices of carved ham, containers of broccoli salad, a variety of interesting grapes, all are transformed into true delicacies when surrounded by a tablescape of pretty china, good wine and family heirlooms, like the one pictured.

One of my favorite and most-often used of her tips is to slice cherry tomatoes or roast some asparagus spears and then pour over a generous drizzle of Girard’s champagne dressing. Fresh summer cucumbers are another of my family’s favorite beneficiaries of this trick. Delicious every time!