By Danielle French

Summer Entertaining

Summer entertaining

With the heat this summer, I’m not one for cooking a big meal, even when friends drop by, I like just putting together a “board” with a few tasty things that people can nibble on. It’s perfect for entertaining or offering your family by the dock at the cottage or my favourite spot – under the elm tree by the barn. There is no magic to creating a beautiful board as long as you have a few things on hand to serve. Start with a wood board that is reserved for this type of occasion versus your daily cutting board. 

Here are a few things that are great to have in your refrigerator and pantry. 

  • Cold meats like salami – spicy and mild, prosciutto, cured ham. If you are vegetarian, a combination of roasted and raw vegetables like roasted peppers and beets, raw carrots and fresh peas and beans. Nothing too sloppy that will drizzle over the edge of the board.
  • Cheeses: I like both a soft cheese and a hard cheese like an old cheddar and a blue cheese of some sort, Stilton or one my favorites from Quebec like Bleu Bénédictin
  • Fruits – whatever is in season, strawberries, grapes, plums, figs and dates
  • Nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts
  • A jam – of course our South Pond products like Roasted Garlic Jam or Onion Marmalade and Hotter than Hades Honey. I also like some other dips such as mustard or aioli. 
  • Pickles – we use a quick pickle for our garden beets and carrots but whatever you have on hand like cornichons or a sweet pickle works too.
  • Lastly, crackers or bread. 

Assemble everything on the board – there is no magic – this one has symmetry with the meat at the end and the cheese and pickles in the middle. Better to have more a little more room on the board than everything crammed in together. Serve with your favourite cocktail or a glass of wine in the shade!

Photo: Kim Magee Photography

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Danielle French - Ash Naylor Photography

About Danielle

Looking for a simpler way of life for her four daughters and herself, Danielle moved from Toronto to this farm in the Bethany Hills of Southern Ontario, and over time together with her family and her partner Shawn, restored the barn, the iconic heritage silo and the land.

Danielle loves to create unique settings and menus for the many events she offers at South Pond Farms, such as authentic farm-to-table gatherings, bread-making workshops, culinary classes, and weddings. Danielle’s vision is to inspire others to share her vision of a traditional life and way of cooking and to feel the sense of history on this beautiful land.  

Danielle was also the host of a television series called Taste of the Country

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