It’s that time of year…cook outs, picnics, concerts, beach vacations…and time to catalog the inventory. I have lots of outdoor event stuff, but still scratch my head trying to remember, “Do I have six or eight of those small fish plates…and are they in the kitchen storage, or in the closet storage?” I have a good memory, but to simplify the “match the food, to the serving pieces, to the carry pieces” planning conundrum, I decided to do a photo inventory at the beginning of the season.
I have bought outdoor serveware on sale at seasons’ end for years, and have a really useful collection. Also, I am obsessed with the easiest way to store and transport food for easy serving. Sometimes I doubt my sanity on that topic, but then when I have a party to attend and don’t have to worry about the 7-Layer Dip arriving “ready to serve”, I am happy again and decide it is worth the efforts.
Most of the dishes and serving pieces are stored in baskets over my kitchen cabinets. Someday I am going to add some high cabinets to fill in the gap to the ceiling, but until then the baskets do a reasonable job of keeping stuff contained and out of sight. I do keep one large canvas bag packed with service for four and various essentials for any spur of the moment outing.
The food transport stuff is in the closet around the corner. For food prep, transportation and storage, I recommend Rachel Ray’s collection, the Temp-tations collection and Lock & Lock storage – all available from QVC and other online sites. Really does keep cold stuff cold, hot stuff hot, and no soggy messes or spills in the car.
Now that I have sorted out the bits and pieces (and found that I do have eight of the small fish plates!) I am ready for summer and lots of outdoor occasions. Bring on the fun!