Archive for the ‘Placemats’ Category

Pacific Merchants Presents: DecoLeaves Cheese leaves

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Leaves for food presentation. Foodsafe cheese leaves parchment leaves french leaves

We’ve got exciting changes afoot here at Pacific Merchants! If you’re a regular on our website, you may have noticed a few new items, and even a few new categories!  Over the next week or so, we’re going to be featuring a ton of new items, so get ready!  First up, we’re thrilled to introduce our new line of DecoLeaves - totally food safe parchment cheese leaves to amp up your food presentation.  Whether you’re decorating a table or lining a cheese board, these beautiful, detailed leaves and flowers will add color and visual interest to your table! Plus, they’re made and packaged right here in the USA!

leaves for cheese, food, table decorations

We’ve got cheese leaves (and flowers, too!) for all seasons.  If you want to deck a spring table in roses  and sunflowers, we’d love to help you. If you’re putting together a wine and cheese tasting, we’ve got the perfect grapes and grape leaves to compliment your spread. If you’re already planning that perfect summer luau, we’ve got banana leaves and tropical leaves to help you decorate. Bonus: our cheese leaves and flowers compliment our acacia wood trays SO perfectly. If you’re putting out a cheese board or a tray of appetizers, look into acacia (if you haven’t already!) We’ve even got leaves for holiday decor, though we know that’s a long way off.

foodsafe parchment leaves decoleaves euroquest leaves, french leaves

No matter what kind of gathering you’re planning this spring/summer, make sure to invite decoLeaves! They’re an easy way to add a splash of color to even the most casual barbecue or picnic, and they’re a beautiful way to bring a touch of whimsy to more formal affairs! We’ve even seen them incorporated into gift wrapping or used for crafts!

party supply leaves, party decor, decorations, cheese leaves

 

 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

As 2013 winds down, we’re taking a quick look at some of our favorite products from the last 12 months.  It’s been an exciting year, and we’re psyched to share some of that excitement with you
DSC_9815 DSC_9989 Full assortment of Kilner jars, bottles, and canning accessories

We were thrilled to bring in a new line this year, and we couldn’t have asked for something more exciting than Kilner! We’ve had a lot of fun canning, preserving, and pickling this year, but we’ve had just as much fun trying to figure out other fun uses for all the beautiful Kilner jars, bottles and accessories.  We’ve crafted with Kilner, baked in the jars, and even used them in place of tupperware for lunches.  But we quickly found out that one of our absolute favorite uses for Kilner jars is for storage.  The larger clip top jars are perfect for pantry organization.  All our jars proved to be awesome for organizing small items, from hardware in sheds to markers and craft supplies to sprinkles and spices!

Beautiful Mason Cash in the forest mixing bowls. Mason Cash counter grip bowl

It wasn’t just a good year for canning and preserving – it was an amazing year for baking.  Mason Cash not only brought back the incomparable counter bowl, which tilts as you mix, but a set of four stunning Forest bowls. Whether your style reflects the whimsy of the forest bowls (stunning stoneware embossed with sweet woodland creatures) or you’re more about a bowl that’ll become a workhorse in your kitchen, Mason Cash has you covered.

Mason Cash Bread Baking set Mason Cash Tear and share Bread Form

2013 was also an awesome year for all things terracotta.  Not only did we use our clay cooker and tagines constantly, but we introduced some really cool new terracotta pieces that were designed with the baker in mind.  Our Bread Baking Set features a mixing bowl with a lid that doubles as a baking stone! This year, I’ve used mine for everything from brioche to pizza and each loaf has come out with a perfectly crisp crust and absolutely tender crumb. We also released some Mason Cash Terracotta Tear-and-Share bread forms that really went a long way to adding some charm to my holiday meals this year.  Plus, the unglazed terracotta bread forms really make sure that each roll has a terrific crust and is perfectly, evenly baked.

strawberry salad in pacific merchants acaciaware bowl. cobb salad in bowl.

Acaciaware® really got the chance to shine in 2013. Not only were our beautiful acaciaware® bowls and salad serving sets featured on some top notch blogs and food websites, from The Domestic man to Apartment Therapy (see images above) but we got the chance to expand our line and bring in some new items (see below.) Whether you’re looking for a classic round serving bowl or organically shaped dishes, our acaciaware® line has what you need.

New Acacia images

This was also the year we really got to see just how versatile our new line of Laguna placemats can be. We’ve set dozens of tables with brightly colored Laguna mats and no matter what the occasion, the brightly colored, neatly bordered placemats really tied the whole table together. Check out both a Christmas shot and a Cinco De Mayo themed shot below to see just how nicely our placemats bring things together, whether set traditionally, scattered haphazardly for a pop of color or laid out neatly as a table runner!

Laguna Mats for Christmas Fiesta laguna mats

As you can see, we’ve had quite the year here at Pacific Merchants, and we’re going to spend tonight celebrating 2013 and getting excited for all the awesome things that 2014 has in store for us!  Cheers to a happy, healthy, exciting new year! Have a Happy New year, Everyone!

 

Crafty Hallowen Roundup – Halloween Crafts Part 1

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Happy Monday, readers!  Welcome to roundup week at the Pacific Merchants blog.  We’ll be bringing you the best we’ve found on the internet to make your pre-Halloween festivities, preparations, Halloween craft session, and YouTube watching marathons the best yet.  Here are a few links to get the week started.

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1. No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas from Brit + Co. How awesome are these?  So many creative ways to approach pumpkin decorating–anyone can do it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YQpbzQ6gzs&w=560&h=315]

2. An oldie but goodie; parents eating their kid’s Halloween candy.

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3.  “Creepy Candles” from Martha Stewart.  Simple, affordable, and a little creepy.

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4. Decorate your table with our lovely placemats.  With an array of colors and textures, you’re bound to find the perfect mat(s) for your seasonal table.

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5. Kilner Cake in a Jar.  Check out last Friday’s post for an easy, fun tutorial for making cute Halloween cakes!

Best Football Food and Party Ideas -Hot Wings Recipe

Friday, September 6th, 2013

It’s the end of the first weekend in September, and that means football season is upon us! If you’re thinking about hosting game day at your house, here are some great ideas that will keep your guests content from kickoff through the post-game show.  Make sure to bookmark this page for your Superbowl party as well!

First, time your party well. Double check what time the game starts and what channel it’s on. Make sure you’ve got that channel ready to go, and start your party about an hour before the game. That gives guests plenty of time to socialize, snack and get comfortable before the game starts.

 

Second, set up two areas for food. One should be on a coffee table, side table or somewhere within easy reach of the couch. One should be away away from the game. Consider putting down easy-to-clean placemats in your favorite team’s colors to make cleanup simple.

Third, think small. Small food, that is.  Easy finger foods and bite-sized snacks are perfect for football parties. They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat. Here are some delicious options to consider: Small sandwiches, Meatballs,  Dumplings, chips and dip (or see our guacamole recipe from last week), tacos, and wings.  Put out an assortment of dipping sauces in small bowls and all your guests can get creative with their food while you enjoy the game!

If you want to get really into the spirit, consider doing themed food – Crab cakes if the Baltimore Ravens are playing, Chicago Style Hot dogs if the Bears are playing. You get the idea.   One of the first games this weekend is New England against Buffalo, so naturally, you’re going to want to make Buffalo Wings. Here’s our recipe for easy buffalo chicken wings. They’re baked rather than deep fried to keep it healthy, and they’re a classic football foods

Our hot Wings recipe: The ultimate Football food.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, rinsed and pat dry
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾  cup hot sauce (we prefer Frank’s Red Hot, it’s classic!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic.
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping
  • carrots and celery sticks (optional)

Directions

  1. Toss the wings in the oil, salt and pepper, place them on a rack, in an enamel baking dish or a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400F oven until golden brown and crispy, about 45-50 minutes.
  2. Put the hot sauce, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and butter in a microwave-safe Mason Cash bowl.
  3. Microwave on medium power until butter is melted.
  4. Toss with chicken wings in a large bowl.
  5. Serve while warm with blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping and optionally with carrots and celery sticks. We love to set out the dressing, vegetables and wings in an Acaciaware serving  tray with a separate bowl for the sauce.

 

Win or lose, we hope you have a fantastic football season!

 

Happy Labor Day: Garnish your Barbecue with our Best Guacamole Recipe

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Labor Day doesn’t mean “back to school” now that most schools seem to start in August, but it’s a really good time to throw a great, end of summer barbecue and enjoy spending time outside before the weather turns cold.  Of course, now that it’s the end of the summer, you might be a little sick of a traditional BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, and even ribs, so we’ve got some great tips to add some color (and some spice) to your Labor Day Barbecue!

First up, Set a colorful table! There’s something about bright, lively colors that make even the most casual get-together feel like a party.  Use flowers, colorful foods, and vibrant placemats.  For a recent party, we used 24 of our Laguna placemats as a tablecloth, and it looked great! As a labor day gift for you, we’re offering 25% off of our ENTIRE Laguna line to our retail customers from now until Tuesday, Sep 3. Just enter LABORDAY at checkout! Laguna mats look great indoors and out, so they’re perfect for entertaining as the seasons change.

Second, make (or buy) snacks that you can set up ahead of time, like our chips, salsa and guacamole in the picture above.  They’re easy to set out an hour ahead of time, and they’ll help keep your guests snacking and mingling if you need a little extra setup time. We love making and serving guacamole in our Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles.  They’re perfect for crushing garlic, cilantro and spices and mashing avocado. Plus, they’re made of heavy stoneware that looks great on the table.tacos

Here’s our signature guacamole recipe. It’s simple to make, and whether you’re grilling hot dogs and burgers or carne asada for tacos, it works.  If you like more heat, add a chopped up jalapeno.  If you like more tang, add more lime.  This serves 4-6 people and is the perfect amount for the large Mason Cash Mortar and Pestle.

  • 3 avocados
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp whole cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. In the bottom of your mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, cilantro and cumin until they form a paste
  2. Add the lime juice and half the avocado
  3. With the pestle, grind until very smooth. Add the other half of the avocado, the onion, and the tomato
  4. Combine with pestle (you may also need to use a fork) until thoroughly combined
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve right in the mortar and pestle!

If you want to make a bigger batch, the recipe doubles or even triples really nicely.  Just grind up the cumin, mince the garlic and cilantro, and make the whole thing in an Acaciaware bowl. Just like when you serve in the mortar and pestle, there’s one less dish to clean, since your serving dish is also your prep bowl.

Since you’re already making guacamole, I suggest you grill up some simple carne asada to go along with it.  This flavorful dish is easy to prepare and uses a cheaper cut of steak, so even if you’re cooking for a crowd, you won’t break the bank.  Do most of the prep the night before to save time!

  • 2 lbs flank or skirt steak
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 1 jalapeno,
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves,
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppe
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • Zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1.  In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients except the flank steak. Blend until smooth.
  2. Put flank steak in a gallon-sized sip top bag.
  3. Pour marinade in on top of steak and seal bag, pressing as much of the air out as possible.
  4. Allow steak to marinate for at least 1 hour, or as long as 12 hours.
  5. Heat your grill to medium high. If using a gas grill, allow at least 10 minutes for the whole grill to heat.
  6. Brush grate with vegetable oil carefully to avoid flare ups.
  7. Grill the steak for 7-10 minutes on each side, turning once for a medium-rare steak.
  8. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes
  9. Slice across the grain, on the diagonal, into thin slices.
  10. Arrange on an Acaciaware plate.

We suggest serving the carne asada with fresh tortillas, grilled corn, our amazing guacamole, and some cheese and salsa.  If you want, you can put together a whole condiment bar using small acacia bowls and  condiment serving sets  Consider filling bowls with pico de gallo, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, grilled peppers, grilled onions, and sour cream.

From all of us here at Pacific Merchants, have a really happy Labor Day. We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer and get to have a fun, relaxing 3-day weekend. And remember to enter LABORDAY at checkout to get 25% those colorful Laguna mats from now until September 3! You deserve a treat.

Our Father’s Day Gift Guide!

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Father’s day already. That’s right, Father’s day is coming up right around the corner on June 16, which means that you have until June 10 to get those orders for dad in.  We’re told that fathers sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to the holiday. They’re given a tool as a gift and told to fix something, or given a grill and told to make everybody dinner. Not quite the restful, fun filled day they had in mind. Here at Pacific Merchants (a company owned by a dad, FYI) we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen with this great Father’s Day Gift Guide.

Now, if you have an unlimited budget, we suggest you bookmark this page and run out and by your dad something really shiny and fancy, like this Tesla. It’s good for the environment (we try to keep things green at Pacific Merchants) and your dad will love it.

If you don’t have a spare $80,000 lying around, we’ve got some more wallet-friendly gift ideas that your dad is sure to love just as much as he’d love that fancy, shiny car. So let’s get it started.  And remember, when you check out, enter DADROCKS checkout! We’ll give you $5 bucks off your order of $30 or more!

 

Our first suggestion for celebrating dad: Throw him a party. It’s beautiful this time of year, so we suggest that you throw him a picnic or barbecue. If you really want to wow him, make sure to include personal touches. Set the table with placemats in his favorite colors. Our Laguna Placemats come in 12 vibrant, bright colors, and we’re sure that your dad’s favorite is among them. To make that barbecue even more special, we’re including our amazing brown sugar bourbon spice rub recipe. It’s amazing on ribs and pork loin, great on chicken, delicious on steak, and succulent on salmon. It’s also really good on hearty vegetables such as mushrooms, squash, carrots and peppers.  Scroll on down to the bottom of this post for the recipe

 

If your dad’s idea of a great Saturday is spending time at the grill cooking up a storm for family and friends, we’ve got some wonderful pieces for him. We’re highlighting serving dishes and accessories that the grillmaster in your life will go nuts for.  From Condiment serving sets to acaciawood plates (great for burgers) to amazing serving trays, we suggest that you help dad trick out his next barbecue with Acaciaware®barbecue supplies from Pacific Merchants!

 

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Round Condiment           Set of 4 7″ Plates            Wood Oval Tray                  12″ Calabash Salad Serving Set

 

s2525025250Another great gift for dad is our Mason Cash Mortar and Pestle. These high-quality earthenware Mortar and Pestles are made in a design that is based on the original high quality models produced over 200 years ago. Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles are the best way to crush and grind herbs and spices. Collectable Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles have no wooden parts to absorb flavor or stains. The special matte finish inside the bowl and on the pestle enables improved crushing and grinding.  With a wider than usual pestle is easier to use than a conventional one – just easy circular movements of the wrist are required.  The Mason Cash mortar pestle is highly collectable (when you can find them) and are considered the world’s finest!

 

 

Brown Sugar Bourbon Spice Rub Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if your dad likes spicy food)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp rubbed sage
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ½ cup apple juice/apple cider
  • 2 oz apple cider vinegar

Instructions  – the long way for maximum flavor

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl to make a thick paste.
  • Pour into a large ziptop bag or air tight plastic container large enough to fit meat/vegetables of choice.
  • Add meat/fish vegetable to marinade.
  • Marinate according to times below.
    • Ribs – 4 hours to overnight
    • Pork Loin – 2 to 4 hours
    • Flank Steak – 1 to 2 hours
    • Chicken – 1 to 2 hours
    • Salmon 30 minutes to an hour
    • Carrots – 1 to 2 hours
    • Squash – 1 to 2 hours
    • Mushrooms – 30 minutes to an hour
    • Peppers – 30 mintutes to an hour
    • After marinating, allow food to sit on a wire rack for 30 minutes so that the sugar mixture dries.
    • Grill over low heat to desired done-ness, keeping in mind that the bourbon will cause flare ups.
    • Brush any remaining marinade over meat in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
    • Once meat is finished cooking and your marinade has caramelized and formed a nice crust, remove from heat
    • Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving

Instructions – the quick way for more time with dad!

  • Combine marinade ingredients to form a paste
  • Salt and pepper your desired food
  • Grill over medium grill until almost done
  • Turn grill to low heat when food is about 10 minutes from done
  • Brush the marinade onto food for last 10 minutes of cooking. Be aware of flare-ups caused by bourbon.
  • Once your meat is done and your  marinade has caramelized and formed a nice crust, remove from heat
  • Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

From all of us here at Pacific Merchants Trading Company, we hope that your dad has a really happy father’s day, and we hope that whether you buy your dad a mortar & pestleor the Tesla, we were able to help make shopping for dad (or cooking for dad) a little easier.  Just remember to get those orders in by June 10 so that your father’s gift gets to him on time. And remember to enter DADROCKS at checkout!

 

Transform from an Amateur Griller into a BBQ Pro

Friday, August 5th, 2011

The sun’s shining, temperatures are heating up, and friends and families are regularly gathering outdoors around the grill to enjoy some summertime R&R and a savory meal.

Besides maybe swimming, nothing is more synonymous with summer than barbequing. And although barbeque season is already in full swing, it’s never too late to up your game and learn a few new tricks of the trade. After all, the Labor Day holiday is just around the corner and is the perfect time for aspiring BBQ chefs everywhere to show off their skills.

Charcoal versus Gas

A debate worthy to rival plastic or paper, choosing the right barbeque is simply a matter of preference. Both types churn out delicious eats, and have their strong suits and not-so-strong suits.

Charcoal grills are known for adding that signature, smoky flavor to food, lend themselves to adding wood chips for an added layer of flavor and often retail at lower prices than their counterpart. Gas grills produce a lot less smoke, eliminate the fuss of dealing with briquettes and lighter fluid, and cut down on cooking times.

Whichever type of grill you prefer, practice makes perfect. So fire up the grill and give these sizzling grilling tips a whirl, and before long you’ll be the Bobby Flay of your neighborhood.

Start with a Clean Grill

Put some muscle into it and scrub that grill ’till it sparkles. You don’t want yesterday’s lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs to taint the taste of dinner’s succulent salmon. A clean grill improves the taste and quality of your food. Charcoal users will also want to get rid of old ashes to promote better air circulation.

Be Prepared

To keep your grilling endeavors running smoothly, keep supplies like utensils, paper towels, antibacterial wipes and serving dishes within arm’s reach. It’s important to continually wash your hands after handling raw meat, and use separate plates and utensils for cooked and raw meat to eliminate any bacterial cross-contamination. You don’t want to be running inside for supplies while your meat starts to overcook on the grill.

Make things even more convenient, and bring your Cutting Edge Flex Mat from Pacific Merchants outside by the barbeque so that you can chop and prep vegetables and more while you grill.

Preheat the Grill

It’s important that your barbeque reach the optimum cooking temperature before placing food on the grill to avoid burning or drying it out. Preheat the grill 15 to 30 minutes before you begin cooking. If you’re cooking on a charcoal grill, eyeball your briquettes. Once they take on a grayish hue, it’s time to put the food on.

To increase the heat, you can push the coals together or lower the cooking grate. To decrease the temperature, sprinkle the coals with a little water or raise the cooking grate. Opening and closing the barbeque lid is another tool to help you control the temperature. Open the lid for thinly cut foods that cook quickly or require supervision. Close the lid for thicker cuts of meat and controlling flare ups.

Cooking Tips

  1. To keep food from sticking to the grill and ease cleanup, always coat the cooking grate with cooking spray or brush with cooking oil. There is one exception to this rule, however. If your marinade or sauce contains oil, don’t grease the grill to avoid flare-ups.
  2. Undercooking and overcooking is probably the biggest occupational hazard for a bbq chef. Take the guesswork out of grilling by using a meat thermometer to ensure that all meats are cooked through.
  3. Tongs beat spatula when it comes to barbequing. Invest in a good pair of tongs to flip meat and vegetables with ease. Tongs offer a better grip than a spatula and you don’t run as much risk of dropping your food or accidently pushing it through the gaps in your cooking grate.
  4. Don’t puncture or press on the meat with a spatula to “flatten.” This technique squeezes out the natural, tantalizing juices and dries meat out.
  5. Give meat a chance to cook. Constantly turning meat or opening up the grill takes away from the cooking process. Meat only needs to be flipped about once per side.
  6. When grilling vegetables, season and then loosely wrap them in a foil “packet” before placing on the grill.

Marinate, Marinate, Marinate

A good marinade is the hallmark of sensational, flavorful BBQ. As a rule of thumb, the longer you marinate the better with one exception. Tomato-based or sugary glazes and BBQ sauces should be applied close to the end of cooking time to prevent burning.

Do You Have Your Own Mouth-Watering Marinade or BBQ Sauce?

Enter our Pacific Merchants BBQ Sauce Recipe Contest 2011 today by going to the Pacific Merchants facebook fan page. Contest ends August 27, 2011. Winners will be announced on September 2, 2011, just in time for Labor Day weekend!

Share your recipes with us for a chance to win the Grand Prize of a beautiful Eco-Friendly Acacia Wood Salad Bowl and Salad Serving Set. Second Prize is an Acacia Wood Serving Platter from Pacific Merchants. Acacia Wood Serving Trays and Bowls are both durable and beautiful, making them the perfect serving ware for your next backyard barbeque.

Check out our Spring Special Placemats!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

This Spring, Pacific Merchants has decided to offer a line of limited edition place mats at a special value.

We’re dedicated to helping our customers keep their tabletop looking stylish, as well as saving our customers money. From our line of polyvinyl placemats we’re pleased to offer our Spring Promo selection. Available only while quantities last, these nine patterns are offered at an excellent price point- only $3.95 each!

Measuring 12″ by 17″, these place mats have the same wonderful qualities you’ve come to expect from us- they’re UV resistant, bacteria resistant, are easily cleaned with soapy water, and even top-rack dishwasher safe!

Khaki Placemat

Truffle Placemat

Dijon Placemat

Whatever color scheme you decorate with, we’ve got the placemat for you; our promo placemats come in Khaki, Truffle, Dijon, Cornsilk, Aqua, Ruby, Cantaloupe, Lemonade, and Cobalt. Hurry and get your order in before this deal, and these colors, disappear for good! For more colors, patterns, and size selections, be sure and check out the rest of our place mats.

The Picasso of Placemats

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Serving a memorable meal is a fine art. That art begins with sumptuous cookery: delicious dishes composed with rich daubs of color, broad swathes of texture, and subtle accents of spice. But plating out a delightful dinner is only half the magic. Table setting provides the ultimate framework for the meal you’ve poured your culinary creativity into. Flowers – always. My wife loves when I bring them home, but often picks them fresh from the garden. My kids enjoy collecting pebbles, branches and leaves in the fall and creating the look of a little Japanese garden on the table. They’ve even used a battery operated dime store Zen fountain as a centerpiece, and the effect is charming. Candles? Absolutely, but keep them unscented so they don’t compete with the amazing smells wafting from your serving dishes. I’m also a big fan of oversized, oft washed, super soft dinner napkins. Buy the best and use them often. They just get better with age. But I have to admit that as a purveyor of placemats, I am most inclined to wax poetic about the spectacular qualities of these regularly rectangular, occasionally oval little beauties.

Placemats are a beautiful adornment for a bare table, but they also look lovely on a tablecloth. I recently attended a function at a very fancy restaurant and was pleased to see our Red Maple placemats embellishing a tablecloth of crisp white linen. The look was surprising, both modern and classic. I got a kick out of how several of the other diners commented on the table setting, without knowing the placemats were one of my products! I also surmised that the restaurateur was saving a fortune on laundry bills by using our dishwasher safe placemats on top of the linens!!

Placemats come in a wide variety of colors and weaves, and your best bet is to make sure they complement your dishes, serveware and home decor. Sometimes we serve off of very modern white dishes at home, and pretty much anything goes. Placemats can tie in with a seasonal or culinary theme, flowers, or even complement the color palette of the food being served – although I would warn against getting too cute and matchey-matchey. If you are serving on a patterned china, then the placemat should be more subtley paired, to be a backdrop for the plates. A tailored neutral is often best in that case. But whatever you do, have fun. Think a little outside the box – or rectangle – as the case may be. If you do, you are sure to produce a masterpiece!


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