Once the kids' back-to-school chores are completed, why not do something special to celebrate the start of a new academic year and meet and greet your fellow parents? This antipasto-style meal of sliced meats, cheese, and prepared vegetables is so easy you won't need to spend hours preparing it. Most of the ingredients can be bought at the market, dressed up with herbs and spices for extra flavor, and simply laid out on platters. Have guests contribute green salad, bread, and beverages, and you're ready to go. Keep your buffet in good order by arranging plates, knives, forks, and napkins on one end of the table, main dishes in the middle, and side and accompaniments last. Let folks have a seat and then, with plates on laps, everybody can chat about upcoming school events. When your guests go home to write up their report card, you're sure to get an A+!
The first step: antipasto. Bring the antipasto to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.