PREPARING TO GATHER

I’m looking forward to our first Watch Party of the Anchor at Home season starting next Thursday, October 7th! I’m inviting friends and family to gather together and am excited for our new season to begin!

Each month I am inspired by our Watch Party Kit which features fun appetizers, festive drinks and discussion questions related to that night’s featured speaker. No matter what amazing recipes that are shared in the kit, I tend to serve my tried and true appetizer platter, also known as a charcuterie board. Over the years, I have earned a reputation for my particular presentation and enjoy bringing it to any event I attend or host in my home. I love creating this masterpiece of tasty morsels and am excited to share with you the how-tos for getting on board with my appetizer creation.

First of all, before we start, it is important to choose a tray or board for your display. I have a favorite porcelain tray, edged in pewter, that I like to use for most parties in my home. For larger gatherings, I like to use a board. I have a very special board handcrafted from wood, which came from Malibu (my favorite Young Life camp in Canada). I was given the board as a thank you for hosting an event, and I treasure the handiwork that went into it. Either option works well depending on the occasion and number of guests that will be attending.

My board (made from YL camp Malibu wood) with plates and spreaders

Do you have a tried-and-true tray you love to serve on? We’d love for you to share with us on Facebook or Instagram!

In addition to the board or tray, you’ll need some small dishes and bowls for plating and display. It is also important to have small spoons and knives for serving. I have quite a collection of little trinkets from antique stores and can usually find anything else I might need at my local HomeGoods store (one of my favorite places to shop). And, of course, not to be forgotten — a set of fun napkins. I have the perfect anchor napkins for this month’s Anchor at Home watch party.

Some of the items to include on your appetizer platter are cured meats, various cheeses, nuts, olives, fruit — dried and fresh — crackers or small slices of bread, and fig jam or honey. It is a good to have a balance of flavors and textures with food items that both contrast and complement each other. The basic goal is to create a pleasing array of many possible combinations.

ONE

Start with grapes, both green and purple. A mixture of color looks nice together on the platter. After washing, I place these to the left on the tray or board. It helps to cut them into small bunches with a pair of scissors (see picture).

TWO

Place a small bowl of nuts in the middle of the platter — rosemary Marcona almonds are my favorite!

THREE

I always use Lesley Lowe’s Rainforest crisp crackers and La Panzanella mini rosemary crackers (but any brand of cracker will work) and display on the right side of the platter or board.

FOUR

I use three kinds of cheeses of different flavors and consistency: Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar sliced thin, a wedge of Cambozola cheese with a knife stuck in the top ready for spreading, and a triple brie cheese, creamy and smooth. St. Angel is the best! This is where a fun spreader comes in handy to display. I have cute lighthouse and wooden whale spreaders ready to use — my special treasures. I place the cheeses in the middle of the platter with spreaders at hand.

FIVE

Place a small array of Italian salami next to the cheese. (There are many kinds of meats you can choose from.)

SIX

The next item to add to this masterpiece is my most important personal touch: the sliced apple. Cutting the apple is key. I cut off slices from the core and then with the flat side down on a cutting board I thinly slice each apple section. I think the display and arrangement of the apple slices brings a beauty to this appetizer creation. It is all in the way you fan the apples as you place them on your board or platter. Place the apple slices in each corner evenly distributed among the platter (see photo and video).

My charcuterie board ready for my Watch Party!

SEVEN

The final touch is my most artistic detail. As I look at the creation as an art project, I always think it needs a splash of blue — my trademark color. I take a handful of blueberries and sprinkle them over the entire appetizer platter; the blue brings it all together. Voila! The masterpiece is complete and ready to serve to your guests.

Check out the video above to see how I put my charcuterie board together!

This appetizer creation is sure to be a hit and so easy to put together. I set it on my counter with the napkins at hand and glasses nearby for drinks all will enjoy. I light my special beeswax tea-light with my Anchor matches (which you too will receive if you sign up to host a watch party this season!). At last, I am ready to serve my guests and will be praying that each person who enters my home will be encouraged and filled with hope and light this Anchor at Home season!

I would love to see your appetizer creations! Please share your works of art with us on Instagram or Facebook, or you can send your pictures to me at [email protected]ricj45.sg-host.com too.

Wishing you all a happy first Anchor at Home watch party!!!

With hope and light,

Catch up on last week’s journal entry!

A Series of Events

An Anchor Moment from Lishi Sander

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