Entertaining Tips in the Age of Covid - Charcuterie 3 Ways!

Our fall shoot was all about finding comfort, peace, and joy at home.  Nothing brings all of the above like a personal charcuterie board. No sharing for this one!  Even though entertaining may look a bit different this holiday season, we're here to provide you with a few creative hosting tips so you can continue to make meaningful memories and moments at home. 

One of our favorite ways to entertain is to host a dinner party at home. There's something so special about setting a table, cooking a meal and sharing it with friends and family. In our opinion, a dinner party isn't complete without a fabulous charcuterie spread. I. mean, forget the actual dinner, we could live off of prosciutto! Since we're being extra cautious in the age of COVID & to avoid multiple hands on a collective board, we partnered with fellow Charlotte small business owner, Meggie Sullivan of Queen Brie to bring you 3 creative ways to individualize charcuterie!

 
M E E T  M E G G I E 
Queen Brie began in the Fall of 2019 as a way to find a creative outlet for myself and connect with others in Charlotte. I’ve always loved entertaining, hosting and the presentation of food. I've been making extensive cheese and charcuterie boards and displays for my own gatherings and friends for a few years and thought it might be time to help others do the same when people started asking for help. I actually have a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology but took a break from full-time work after having children. I would generally say I’m not very artistic but I find that creating a cheese and charcuterie board truly feels like a unique piece of art- every board is different and unique and I’ve definitely honed my skill with lots of practice. When Covid-19 hit I was worried my art would be lost but I’ve continued to find ways to pivot and still encourage grazing and gathering safely- and I have to say I’m all about the mini board and individual serving! 

Meggie Sullivan lives in Charlotte with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not eating or styling cheese she enjoys cooking, traveling, wine and backyard hangouts with family & friends.
T H E  M A T E R I A L S 
Cheese Knife
Honey Dipper
Toothpicks
T H E  I N G R E D I E N T S
O N E :  I N D I V I D U A L  C H A R C U T E R I E  C O N E
The cutest charcuterie we ever did see! These are perfect for hosting as guests can easily grab a cone and munch & mingle. No need for plates or napkins!
T W O :  I N D I V I D U A L  C H A R C U T E R I E  M I N I  B O A R D
Great for intimate dinner parties. Bring your hosting game to the next level by creating individual charcuterie boards for each of your guests on our monogrammed boards. Once they've cleared their board (we know it won't take long!), let your guests take them home as a party favor! 
Don't underestimate the power of a mini board! Once you start layering, you'll come to realize they can hold more than you'd think.
T H R E E :  I N D I V I D U A L  C H A R C U T E R I E  B O X
A chic alternative to an appetizer plate. No need to hover over the kitchen island! These individual charcuterie boxes allow guests to take their treats to their seat. 
W H O ' S  R E A D Y  T O  C H A R C U T E R I E ?
Meggie walks us through her top shopping and assembly tips + tricks. 
1). When cheese shopping, be sure to think about the different textures and milk varietals. And when it comes to placement on a board, I like to start with the cheeses first to serve as anchors and then fill in with the other ingredients.
2). Fold your salami! It makes all the difference. We cheese people love to form what we lovingly refer to as "salami rivers" on larger boards.
3). Shop seasonal when you can - flavors, produce & garnish.
4). Don't be afraid to shop your pantry and cabinets. You'd be surprised what you can find in there! Tiny bowls can double as vessels for olives and jams and wooden cutting boards can quickly turn into the perfect charcuterie canvas.
5). Get creative! Reuse honey or jam jars to hold taller breadsticks or crackers. Also, a basket or household wire rack can easily double as a stand to hold your charcuterie cones.
We're absolutely loving this tip! An impromptu charcuterie cone holder.
6). Last but not least, remember that cheese tastes best at room temperature so make sure to allow your cheeses to sit out for at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving your guests.
If she had to pick favorites... Meggie's go-to ingredients!
Cheeses:
Delice de Bourgogne, Beehive Cheese Pour Me A Slice, everything from Dorothy Creamery, goat lady dairy snow camp, iberico.

Charcuterie:
Speck & proscuitto

Crackers:
Rustic Bakery organic sourdough flatbread bites, Trader Joe's fig & olive crisps, Specially Selected raisin, rosemary, pumpkin artisan crisps. 

Layering ingredients:
Castelvetrano olives (I literally did not like olives before these!), persimmons in the fall and fresh SC freestone peaches in the summer. Figs, ALWAYS figs! Blenheim apricots, truffle marcona almonds, bee seasonal honey & sour cherry jam.
We hope these tips and tricks help inspire easy entertaining at home. Cheers, y'all!
Photography by Demi Mabry

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