Simple and affordable ways to create a DIY charcuterie board for holiday entertaining.
My son had a Friendsgiving picnic at his school, and being the caring friend that he is, he decided that he wanted to create a charcuterie board for his friends to enjoy. Since this was his project, I gave him a budget and told him to research online how to make one. After googling and pinning all sorts of ideas, he created a board that would have rivaled any professionally created one. Nope, this mama didn't help him. He's a teenager and he wants to be a chef, so he needed to do this on his own. Besides, he kicked me out of the kitchen and didn't show me anything until he was done.
But his culinary adventures did give me ideas on including a stylish charcuterie board with my holiday appetizers. If you're like us, you'll need lots of appetizers. Now, I'm not going to tell you how to create a "board". There's Pinterest for that. But I'll let you in on my secrets to creating them without breaking the bank.
Use dishes you already own. I made a small board for my mom from plates and small bowls that I already had in my cabinets. Instead of trying to spend money on a fancy board, keep it simple. You can line up several dishes to create a large platter of delectables, or you can lay out butcher paper onto a clean table and spread your bites out like a table runner. Either way, they'll be really good and you won't be shelling out much money on décor.
Decide how much you want to serve. I know that we've been taught to calculate how much we spend on food by how many guests we have, but with a charcuterie board, you can set the budget. It's for grazing. It's not for filling. I follow a "2 x 5" methodology for creating my board: 2 meats, 2 cheeses, 2 fruits, 1-2 breads/crackers, and 2 special bites. The last board I created had turkey and black forest ham, crackers, apples and grapes, Colby and Cheddar cheeses, and a small salad of olives and grape tomatoes in a bit of Italian dressing.
Think about the food that you already have in your home. Then plan your board. Make sure to use goods already in your pantry before you buy anything new so that you waste nothing. You'll be amazed at what you have!
Don't put things on your board that you aren't willing to eat yourself. We want your board to be a success, but if your guests don't eat everything, you might end up storing it for later. And if you don't like what's left, then your hard work goes down the drain when that very food becomes waste.
Set a budget and stick to it! Enough said.
By the way, here’s my son’s board. What do you think?