Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Importance of Presenting Food

I recently met fellow blogger Kim Vallee and, as always, we exchanged great ideas on how to help people and make the world a better place.....kidding. We did actually have ideas that would touch that area, in a more artsy and less political way, by talking about our own experiences on the Art of Receiving.

My last post was very much about my enjoyment of receiving guests. It's a great experience which I got from dining out with friends. My family loves throwing dinner parties for at least 40 to 60 people once a month. They love huge pot-luck dinner parties where everyone brings a home cooked dish or a catered one, and puts on his/her fancy pants for the occasion. They end the evening with dancing and lots, lots, lots of karaoke. You might say that it's typical Asian, but I can also tell you that it's very popular in the social community I grew up in. I used to also throw big parties in my high school days when my mom would help me out with the cooking. Now, I have to admit that I was and never have been a fan of big crowds. I find them too impersonal and more of a show. So when I moved out years ago, I would go out to more intimate dinners with a few friends (no more than 10 people). Intimate dinner parties are pleasant and more interesting. You engage into interesting conversations and actually hear what the other has to say.

What I enjoy most from a quiet dinner with friends are : 1) the discussions and 2) the food!

Food is more inviting when it's presented in a way that represents you. For example, I love coziness and warmth, so I would use candles, plants, flowers and colourful tableware to greet my guests.

The presentation of this North African Berbère bread is very easy to execute. This bread can be found in any local markets which sell international spices and foods. It can also be prepared with different fragrances and herbs, making it uniquely savoury. With a simple wooden bowl, bought at HomeSense, and a napkin from the 1$ store, your bread is all set to be served to your guests. It's also important to warm your bread, as you know that everyone loves warm and crisp bread. In a restaurant, you probably noticed that everyone will go to the warm breads, in no time, and comment on how nice and savoury they are. Although it's a very simple thing to do, sometimes the little things do matter the most.

Preparation time : 5 minutes, Cooking time: 5-7 minutes

Recipe "au pif":Pick 6-8 slices of bread of your choice (In this picture, chose a North African Berbère bread)

Preheat oven at 200F
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil
Heat bread for about 5-7 minutes

Or you can also grill the bread if you decide to use flat breads, if you have an indoor grill.

Serve warm with your meals.

Serves 6-8 people.

Share and enjoy!

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