How to Set the EASIEST Tablescape Ever!

My Favorite Fatigue Wearer doesn’t “get” my love of tablescaping.  In fact, we have a good-natured, running conversation that goes something like this …

He: I prefer a “plain” table. Just a wood table with a plate, knife and fork.

Me: … and a napkin. You need a napkin.

He: Nooooo (with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and a slow swipe of his arm across his face from his elbow to his wrist)

Me: (laughing and shaking my head at the “boy”) Yes, you need a napkin!


The last time we had this conversation, I was issued a challenge:  Set a “plain” table … and make it look good. I’m sure he didn’t mean something like this.


After giving it some thought, I remembered a “minimalist” table I once set for him. Son, if you’d been at my house in the past couple of months, I just might have set it again — because it was the right time of year.

Are you ready?
This is the “fanciest” part of the table setting.

The “minimalist” table …
Look! No flatware!

The “behind the scenes” of a Crawfish Boil …

The delicious …
Ours was actually a “fancy” crawfish boil because it included “dishes.”

While living in Louisiana, we sometimes attended boils where we sat at newspaper-covered tables and used cardboard box lids for plates. Now that’s a minimalist table!
But the very best crawfish boils we had the pleasure of attending took place at the home of a crawfish farmer. When we arrived, Renaissance Man and our friend would head down to the crawfish pond to catch our supper. Thirty minutes later: fresh, sweeter-than-shrimp crawfish, corn-on-the-cob, and red potatoes … perfectly seasoned with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (aka Tony’s) … were spread out on newspaper-covered plywood “tables” … and we stood and ate and ate and ate. Tip: if you wear contact lenses, be sure to wash your hands afterwards VERY well or the Tony’s will “fire up your eyes!”

How about you? Have you ever attended a crawfish boil?
What did you think?

If you’re not a fan of crawfish … or if it’s not crawfish season (yes, there is such a thing), what other “finger lickin’ good” meal could you serve?  “Minimalist” tables are great for outdoor events … and families with young children!
I’ll be joining
Let’s Dish! at Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch


  1. Susan, that is the easiest table…and I would love to be invited to your crawfish boil!
    Have a great week…

  2. ALWAYS newspaper for a crawfish boil!!! Still in season here in south Louisiana!!! Love the ‘minimalist’ look!

  3. Yes, that is a “minimalist” table, for sure.:-) I have even set a few “minimalist” tables in my time.:-) Never been to a crawfish boil, but it sounds like a wonderful experience!

    xo Nellie

  4. During our eight years at LSU I learned a valuable lesson — never take children too young to peel their own to a crawfish boil! You will spend all your time peeling for THEM and never get to eat any yourself!

  5. Fried chicken served in school lunch size brown bags on a bed of French fries…and the roll of paper towels in the center…and long neck beer, of course. Thanks for the inspiration…:-) Cherry Kay

  6. I do sooo love a crawfish boil! And you used plates, so that was already upscale. Looks yummy. Thanks for reminding us that the real pleasures in life do not need a formal set up! xo marlis

  7. Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!! That is HILARIOUS!!! At first, I thought it was toilet paper on the table! I thought, “OK, that’s just…different!” Then I realized it was a roll of paper towels. Whew! That was a close one! 🙂

    I’ve never been to a crawfish boil, but our next-door-neighbor is planning a cul-de-sac party this summer that is going to be just that. He’s a huntin’ and fishin’ and 4-wheelin’ type of guy, so he will totally be in his element. He has given us deer jerky that he made before. Yes…he’s a guy’s guy, so I think he’ll know what he’s doing with the crawfish boil! 🙂

    I’m a native Kansas Citian, so it’s all about the RIBS for me, baby!!! Just slap ’em down in front of me with a roll of paper towels and let me at ’em!!!!

    Fun post, Susan! Oh…and I know all about that Tony’s. My husband recently bought one of the Tony’s salt-free seasonings, and he was shocked that it had such a “kick” to it. Doof! Of course it does! It’s TONY’S!!!!!! 🙂

    • Toilet paper? Yikes, Alycia! The day you see TP in my t’scape is the day you may require my resignation from Blogland. LOL

      Your neighborhood crawfish boil sounds great — as do your KC ribs. Either one is fine with me! At our house, we use Tony’s on both of them. 🙂

  8. Never had the pleasure of attending one of those – we tend to have Low Country Boils here. However, they are spread out on newspapers on tables, too. If you would like to invite all of us to the next one, we will do our best to help you consume those yummy crawfish – lol!!

  9. Our family loves seafood! I’ve never had it fixed with the corn and I’m looking forward to trying that one day soon, hopefully. Great tablespace for your party.

  10. Helen, the corn and potatoes absorb the Tony’s spices and are delicious!

  11. That cracks me up! Love posts that have a funny side to them, especially when their keeping it real! I’m so sarcastic, I’d love to ask your hubby if he wouldn’t mind if we cut up his apron and make napkins out of it!…Hoping he’d laugh!! LOL

  12. This looks like so much fun! I’ve never been, but I’d love to try a craw fish boil.

    – The Tablescaper

  13. Most men prefer it plain, although mine won’t eat from a paper plate or use plastic utensils!
    Part of the science curriculum was a crawfish unit. I was bit many a time. They would cook themselves locked up in a hot classroom on a June weekend! 🙂

  14. That’s too funny, my tablescaping has sort of had to opposite effect on my hubs, now he expects things to look very decorated and color coordinated! He also tries to help sometimes! I have been to plenty of crawfish boils here in Alabama, but my favorite was a shrimp boil at my cousins in NC…they just dumped the hot shrimp on the funny papered covered picnic table and served lots of warm butter and cold beer. So much fun!! Cute post, love the fancy paper towels!

  15. Must have taken you ages! Ha ha. Love a shrimp boil.