Making a place feel like home, to me at least, is happening when I invite friends over for food, regardless of whether it is simple nibbles or a real dinner.
In both cases, I love to serve a cheese platter. There is an element of sharing to it, as well as a notion that anyone can pick what they like.
On the interwebs there seem to be a bazillion guides and strict rules when it comes to cheese platters. My advise is to ignore all of them, and go for plenty of cheeses that you like to eat yourself. Make sure that there are enough knives to make it easy to slice the different types of cheese, and try to strive for different structures. On the photo you can see a trio of goat cheese: one mature (hard) one, a soft brie-like version and a young chevre.
In case you are hosting a party, my advise would be to buy a couple (for example four) big pieces of cheese, ranging from mild to matured and soft to hard. I would then half these cheese chunks to divide it into two identical cheese platters, with enough space for all the extras, such as nuts, mustard, grapes or (dried) figs.
One of the things that really goes well with almost all cheeses is Feigensenf, a very German condiment that translates best into ‘fig mustard’. I really like it as it has a perfect balance between spiciness and sweetness, while being a much better pairing with most cheeses than plain mustard as it is not that overpowering.
- 250 grams of dried figs
- 200 milliliters of apple juice
- 150 grams of wholegrain mustard
- 100 grams of dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- salt and black pepper to taste