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Debra's Quest for the Number 3 - Trays

July 13, 2011
I've managed to accumulate quite a collection of trays in different shapes, styles, sizes, and materials.  Some trays are a nod to another day, when life and every meal was considered a formal affair and others are more modern. When you look up the definition of "tray" in the dictionary it is defined as "an open, variously shaped receptacle of wood, metal or other material with a flat bottom and a low rim for holding, carrying or exhibiting articles."  Serving something to someone on a tray versus just handing it to them brings smiles from the person being served and says to them "I'm special".  It is an easy extra step step that elevates an experience.  True story - a teenage girl was visiting our home on a cold wintry day.  I brought her a steaming cup of hot chocolate with a napkin and spoon on a silver tray.  She got the biggest smile on her face and as she was leaving turned to me and said,  "I never realized what a poor hostess I was to my friends."  Amazing, the power of serving a simple cup of hot chocolate on a tray!        Here are some ideas to help you make the most of the trays you already own. The list could go on and on, but this should give you a healthy jump start. 
  • Delight your guests', loved ones or yourself with breakfast in bed served on a pretty tray.
  • Use a mirrored tray to serve appetizers and after dinner drinks or fill with pillared candles as a centerpiece to reflect the light.
  • A flat basket tray covered with a bright summer colored linen napkin makes a tall, cold glass of ice tea extra special.
  • A large over-sized wrought iron tray - the perfect carrier for a pot of steaming hot chocolate on a chilly winter day.
  • Place an oasis ring inside a tray.  Cover it with flowers and place 3 cylinders inside the ring filled with beans and votive candles.
  • Use smaller round silver trays as chargers.
  • Stack round silver trays in 3 different sizes for serving food on a buffet or to create a centerpiece.
  • Stage a collection of decanters on an interesting tray to be placed on a buffet, sideboard, bar or coffee table.
  • During the holidays place pillar candles on a tray and fill the base with holiday greenery.
  • In the kitchen, a pretty tray can provide an elegant way to hold your collection of cooking oils and vinegar; plus provide the benefit of handy access.
  • An over-sized tray can hold place cards for a party or a collection of interesting containers filled with candy, condiments, or snacks.
  • A blue and white porcelain tray holds cosmetics on my dressing table; a smaller one, jewelry I wear frequently.
  • Stack books and magazines on a tray on your beside table.
  • Use a tray on your desk to hold incoming mail that needs to be opened or to keep track of bills to be paid.

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