1) Plan your meal around your crockery!
This is a MUST and so few books tell you about this simple tip! Most of us don’t have 36 dinner plates, so if you’re entertaining 12 friends you can’t produce a three course meal which requires the same serving dishes!
Whenever I sit down to plan a meal I always think about serving plates. The dinner plates are immediately in use for the main course, which leaves bowls and side plates. So… if I decide to use the side plates for the first course, that means dessert must need bowls. If I decide to use soup as a first course, then the dessert must be able to be served on side plates.
Another quick and easy tip is to buy 12 glass tumblers to supplement your crockery. This gives you one extra option for serving courses – as you can do prawn cocktail in glass tumblers just as easily as individual trifles.