I don't know about you, but there are times when, no matter how much I actually do like to cook, I simply cannot be bothered. This tends to be a Friday evening, when I've been working and cooking all week, a day when it's too hot and the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen and slave over a hot stove, or a day when I've spent most of my time outside and haven't wasted a single thought on dinner. These are the times when a cheese, baguette and wine dinner seems perfectly appropriate. This, for me, is the easy option. The tasty cop out dinner.
This is also a family favourite as it seems to make everybody just want to stay at the table, chat and draw out dinner for much longer than usually. It's not like a standard meal where you finish what's on your plate and you're done. With this, you just help yourself to a little more, pick on some grapes, have a sip of wine, and then some more cheese. It's the perfect meal for socialising I'd say.
Having the table laid out in an informal and casual way does of course help. This is not the time to bring out the crystal glasses and silver ware, you'd be better advised to use whatever tumblers you have and keep everything as simple and laid back as possible to encourage people to just chill. This time, it did help that I was very lucky to receive a box with four fab cheese plates from Culture Vulture which just fit in really nicely with the overall easy going theme and the colours and textures I like to use for such a dinner. I really like the - ahem - cheesy (in the best possible way) design on the plates and the fact that they're actually mismatched. Four plates and each with a different design, perfectly casual.
Anyway, as far as no stress, social and fun goes when it comes to dinner during the warmer months, I don't think this is easy to beat. Unless you have a better idea? If you do, please let me know, I'm always curious like that...