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Real Solutions: What to Do When You Don't Have Any Plates

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Here's where we share real solutions, through design success stories in the homes of Food52 team members.

Today: Kraft paper saves the day.

A few weeks ago, I found myself with the happy task of having my boyfriend's mother over for dinner (Hi, Leah!)—which wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't have any plates. My boyfriend and I had just moved into our new apartment and the options were limited—the two of us had been eating out of ice cream bowls (priorities) since the move and serving a feast on paper plates just didn't feel right. Somewhere in the middle of my (slightly frantic) last-minute meal planning, it hit me to use the kraft wrapping paper I had stashed in the closet as "plates" and to serve the pizza directly on top of it (with Caesar-Style Kale Salad in our trusty ice cream bowls).

To do it, I simply rolled out the kraft paper, which I bought at a paper shop but is available at any office supply store, and weighted down one edge with a marble block and the other with wine glasses. Some of the grease from the Shrimp Pizza did leak through, but it was an easy clean-up—especially when doing the dishes meant tearing the used paper off and gathering it up to recycle.

And while this won't work with every meal—particularly those that involve a knife and fork—it's a great solution for anyone moving into a new place, for kids, and for dinner parties. I've been keeping a roll by my dinner-table-butcher-block in case the inspiration for a last-minute pizza night (or even clam bake!) strikes.

What are some of your last-minute dinner fixes when you're in a pinch? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: Tips & Techniques, Food52 Life, Ephemera