Friendly Friday Challenge: more special treats

The Friendly Friday Challenge is a fortnightly challenge co-hosted by Amanda from Something to Ponder About and Sandy from The Sandy Chronicles. 

This year the girls are are opening up the challenge, making its focus not purely on photography but making it a little more varied, a little more open and interesting.

Last week’s challenge was Special Treats but I’m still waiting for this week’s. It’s 14:00 (CET) and there’s no sign of it. So I’m going to do a narrative to accompany last week’s post. After all the girls did say that you could do more than one post on the topic.

In France restaurants have been closed since October and while some restaurants are doing take-out, most are resolutely closed.This means I’ve had to make eating at home, just the two of us, even more special! Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can’t dine well. Just because we can’t go out to our favourite restaurants, doesn’t mean we’ve been reduced to eating sad frozen dinners on the sofa, in front of the television.

On the contrary, I’ve taken this time to further develop my cooking skills, decorate my various dining areas and make meals a part of the day we both look forward to. Here’s how I do it.

Break out the best dishes

Now is the time to dust off everything you save for “best” including linen napkins, silver serving dishes and cut glass crystal. The simplest of meals or appetisers can be presented in a way that is special and avoids the mundane. Mirror the experience of fine dining or whatever style you most enjoy.

At the weekends, in particular, Itry  to make each meal an ocasion starting with an apéro on Friday evening. We have, on occasion, even dressed up for the event. Over the weekend, I’ll  lay the table in the dining room, or on the terrace, with tablecloths, napkins, candles and a mixture of tableware, plus flowers.

Adjust the lighting

We have a beautiful chandelier in the dining room ( reflected in the window) which I often feel makes it overly bright. In the evening, I’ll sometimes dim the lights and use a variety of candles dotted around the room. (Obviously, this is a pre-Covid photograph!)

Change the dining venue

We generally eat at the kitchen table although whenever the weather allows we’ll eat outside. I do enjoy serving meals in our formal dining room or eating a picnic around the coffee table in the lounge. We’re not talking blow-out dinners, sometimes it’s just a beautiful charcuterie or cheese board.

Be more creative about cooking

There’s nothing I enjoy more than the challenge of cooking a meal from what’s leftover in the fridge though, of course, with more limited shopping opportunities, meal planning is much more important. You all know how much I love planning and preparation, plus my beloved hates eating the same thing two nights running.

Actually, it’s often the little things such as infusing your own olive oil with chilies, pepper, or herbs to add flavour, making chutney’s and pickles and upgrading household staples with leftovers from another meal that make the difference. I’m never afraid to experiment.

What have you been doing to make dining in more fun?

How to join the Challenge

  • Write a post titled ‘Friendly Friday- xxx Prompt name xxx’ with tag ‘Friendly Friday’
  • Include a link to the original Friendly Friendly Challenge post on the host’s blog
  • Optionally, you can include the latest Friendly Friday Challenge logo. Download it here.
  • Comment on the host’s Friendly Friday post, so that other readers can find and read your response.
  • Remember to include a link to your post in your comment. This will guarantee a visit, in the event the automatic ping-back does not work.
  • Visit other Friendly Friday entries by following their links. It’s fun!
  • Follow the host blogs to see future Friendly Friday Challenges
The Benefits
  • Increase your exposure in our blogging communities
  • Inspire and be inspired by diverse blog articles
  • Challenge your creativity
  • Make new friends and keep in touch with old ones

Are you joining in this year? Gone on……you know it’ll be fun!

18 Comments on “Friendly Friday Challenge: more special treats

  1. Well done Sheree! With you narrative you very naturally slipped into the new rules for Friendly Friday.

    One the changes for this year is having the Challenge last two weeks instead of one. We’re encouraging folks to add more narrative to their photos and submit as many times as they’re inspired. Just like you’ve done. Next week, Amanda will post a new topic for Friendly Friday. You can look forward to that.

    In the meantime, about that dinner reservation at your place in 2025 ….?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s very interesting and reminds us of the late 1970s when inflation was 16% and interest rates 13%, we had two young children and were struggling. So, we started to treat each other on alternate Saturdays, 4 course meals for each other from the Good Food weekly magazine. Happy days👌

    Liked by 1 person

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