Sunday, May 3, 2009

Frivolous problem solving

Sterling plated single and double ice cream servers, Source Perrier

Here is a so-called problem: How to serve ice cream without putting a carton within view of the guests.

This was my Mother's instruction on the subject: The ice cream needed to be softened in room air for ten or 15 minutes, preferably during dinner. Then, if it would be in a pleasant shape when removed from the carton to a serving bowl, it could be scooped from the block in the bowl in the dining room or on the buffet. If it was not in a pleasing shape or de-cartoned badly, there were a few options: Soften and reshape into a serving bowl from which it could be scooped, pre-scoop it into a serving bowl and place it back in the freezer until it was rushed to the dining room, or it could be scooped into portions in the kitchen (in other words, it would not be served family style). Finally, just do not serve ice cream.

Under no circumstances, ever, is a carton, label, bottle, or dispenser ever to be placed on the dining table: No ketchup bottles. No soda cans. No ice cream cartons. The only exception is red wine bottles in wine coasters.

Don't get me wrong. Bottles are not foreign to me (I love Heinz ketchup) but even in the course of my everyday life they are decanted into bowls to go to the table or used only in the kitchen on the food before it goes to the table. I have been known to take orders on condiments for burgers for this reason. I cannot tolerate looking at bottles on a table, it just makes a table unappealing in every way.

When I saw these ice cream servers, the problem was partially solved. Though, I wish it also kept the ice cream cold.


An Aesthete's Lament said...

What are you feelings on decanting liquid soap into lovelier containers? Is that beyond the pale? I used to think it incredibly pretentious ... then I made friends with a super-stylish woman who decants her detergents, et cetera, into really beautiful containers that put my laundry room to shame. I agree with you totally regarding ketchup being set out in its original packaging, et cetera. Not even William Randolph Hearst could make a battalion of bottled condiments look good (and don't get me started on his paper napkins).

Anonymous said...

Another solution is to wrap the container in napkins. I did this at my sons birthday party and it worked great. We had a Star Wars theme and I used the theme napkins, he got a kick out of it.

Blushing hostess said...

AAL - somewhere I have seen photo of this practice recently and I thought it looked lovely. I am a clean counter girl, however and so, for us it would make no difference. A lot of people, (though not me because the thought of the cleaning is exhausting alone) like this open shelf thing in kitchens and utility rooms.. in that case, everything should be decanted in my opinion. Every. Single. Thing.

Wooby cat - certainly a fine option to cover it in a decorative cloth or fabric remant too... good hostess thinging - thank you.