5 hosting tips from Susan Worts

Tricks from one Lake Muskoka cottager on making entertaining look easy

By Sydney LoneySydney Loney


Photo by Margaret Mulligan

Find the recipe for Susan's Croissant Bread Pudding here.

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1. Stick to cooking what you know; just add a twist. “Even mac and cheese can be jazzed up if you use a sharp Cheddar instead of Kraft cheese slices,” says Susan. “Serve simple food, done well.”

2. Don’t worry about matching tableware. In fact, the more eclectic the better, says Susan, who buys her plates at antique shops and dollar stores. Her only rule? “Pick something up that excites your eye.”

3. Susan uses natural finds, such as leaves and boughs, to decorate her table, or even as serving dishes. “Clam shells are great containers for salt and pepper,” she says. “Just make sure to wash everything first.”

4. Love using real table linens but hate doing laundry? “Most of my tablecloths are oilcloths, which are impervious to stains and easy to clean.” If you can’t find oilcloths in a housewares shop, try a fabric store.

5. If there’s one thing Susan can’t live without, it’s garnish. Her current must-haves for her dishes are white peppercorns and feathery-textured salts like fleur de sel.

This article was originally published on July 2, 2011

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