Yes, we are into January and I’m recapping our holiday season! I finally had the opportunity to put together and serve a grazing board and I refuse to let the opportunity for me to share it pass 🙂
Christmas Eve + My First Grazing Board
For Christmas Eve this year, we threw a small(ish) get together for our Hawaii “family”, which means a group of all of our friends. The reality of living in Hawaii means that many people we know here are far from their real families and any excuse to get together is welcomed, particularly at the holidays. There were around 25 people in and out all night, but sadly I only have the few photos below — I was definitely living in the moment and I’m okay with that 🙂
I have followed several cheese plate and grazing board accounts on Instagram for several years and I knew I wanted to take a stab at creating one for the party. A lot of those accounts use places like Aldi and Trader Joe’s to stock up on charcuterie essentials, but there is no such thing in Hawaii, so I made the most of Costco, Whole Foods + the commissary (military grocery store).
I wanted to make sure there was a good mix of cheese, meats, fruit and nuts. I purchased: 2 baguettes, flat pretzels, crackers, red apples, green apples, a pomegranate, dried mango, Marcona almonds, walnuts, stuffed olives, cranberry goat cheese, Kerrygold cheese, a cheddar variety 4-pack (jalapeño, chipotle, and two other flavors I’m blanking on at the moment), Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto, and a 6-pack of cured meats. I also made hummus and bacon jam for the board and had a separate block for a small vegetable platter. All vegetables were purchased at Costco (cheapest Hawaii option) and chopped in my kitchen!
My friend Casey who was visiting has put together a few boards herself, so she was super helpful in the full design of the board. I absolutely love how it turned out! Warning: tons of photos ahead – I just couldn’t stop snapping. Creating one of these grazing boards had been a goal for so long and I finally had enough people in my house to make one!
Copper Cheese Knives Set | Board was a homemade gift from a dear friend!
I also had a dessert table in my kitchen that featured my painted sugar cookies, Christmas Crack and puppy chow. Somehow I don’t have a photo of it all put together, but I do have this I snapped of the cookies plated before serving!
The one thing I did before this get together that might be my favorite party hack, is that I wrapped my dining room table in festive wrapping paper (Sugar Paper brand from Target!). I did this for two reasons – 1. My dining room table was formerly an outdoor table, so it has a few marks on it and 2. I didn’t have to worry about anyone spilling! It worked out so well and I actually salvaged the parts without food markings to use as gift wrap down the road.
All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas Eve. I remember at one point looking around my house with so many friendly faces, all either laughing, eating or talking to a new friend and just feeling so incredibly fulfilled and happy. There was a point in my life where I would have been bitter and upset not being in the same room as my family members (and I was still sad, don’t get me wrong!), but being able to celebrate and fill a home with love is right up near the top, too.