A plate worthy of the king of spring
This time of year, it seems every dinner party includes asparagus. And every dinner-party cook faces the same challenge when it comes to serving this elegant yet awkward vegetable: What plate? Here's an inexpensive dish made for the job. The 12-inch oval platter neatly holds a bunch of asparagus, whether steamed or grilled, and its basic white color fits in with any table setting. It's pretty enough to set on a shelf or hang on the wall when not in use. Asparagus platter, $12.99, at Bristol Kitchens in Bristol Farms stores.
A trivet that won't trouble your table
You can never have enough trivets. Depending on your occasion, you can select one that suits your mood. This one, made of polished cast aluminum, has little rubber feet so it will not slip or scratch the surface of your table. Trivet, $12.50, from Landis General Store, 138 to 142 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 465-7998.
-- Donna Deane