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Serveware Glossary

Colleen Dowd
Serveware Glossary
So you invited everyone over to celebrate and dig in to a great meal together? Good for you. However, as one of the year’s biggest meals looms closer, you may begin to worry that you have everything you need. Use our serveware glossary and rest easy.
  • Bread Basket: Keeps bread or rolls contained and easy to pass around the table.
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  • Butter Dish: This dish with optional cover allows guests to add butter to their meal without making a mess.
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  • Cake Knife: If you are having your cake and eating it, a cake knife will allow you to easily cut and serve dessert.
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  • Cheese Board and Knife Set: Essentially a pretty cutting board for your cheese, a cheese board allows guests to help themselves. If the board if big enough, you can add grapes, crackers, etc.
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  • Chip & Dip or Veggie & Dip Platter: These circular platters are like a bowl and plate all rolled into one. With an area designated for chips or veggies and a central bowl for dipping, it’s the perfect party serveware.
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  • Gravy Boat: This oblong, boat-like dish, sometimes lidded and sometimes not, is a Thanksgiving dinner must-have.
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  • Pie Server: Easily dish out slices with a server that allows you to both cut and serve.
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  • Pitchers: Make sure to have a least one, which you can fill with water. Add in more and if you would like to offer additional drink options.
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  • Salad Tongs: Leave these in the salad bowl, so guests can easily serve themselves.
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  • Salt & Pepper Shaker Set: Make sure to set the table with these shakers so guests can further season food to their liking.
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  • Serving Bowls: Serving bowls are super handy in different sizes, so you can serve everything from pre-dinner snacks, a salad, a pasta dish, different veggies, and a selection of fruit for dessert among other things.
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  • Serving Fork: Pair a serving fork with each dish that is most easily dished with a fork (yes for meat, no for soup!).
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  • Serving Platters & Trays: You can use a platter or tray to serve every course. Lay out appetizers, display and pass around the main course of turkey, fish etc., and place dessert options likes cookies and brownies on one.
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  • Serving Spoons: Pair a serving spoon with each dish that is most easily served with a spoon. (Yes for soup or corn, no for meat!)
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  • Tea and Coffee Set: Allow guests to enjoy some coffee or tea after their meal with this set. The set usually includes one teapot, cups and plates, a creamer, and a sugar bowl.
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  • Trivets: These decorative platforms allow you to place hot dishes on the table without damaging it. Make sure to use one when serving food in oven-to-table serveware.
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  • Warming Buffets and Trays: While not essential, they’re the ideal serveware for keeping large amounts of food hot while serving it buffet-style.
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  • Wine Decanter: Fill the decanter with your favorite wine so that guests can easily serve themselves.

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