This tip was inspired by my mother-in-law, who, when we visit, takes my boys down to her pool with a tray of snacks, drinks and plenty of coffee every morning (letting me sleep in, bless her!). She has at least 3 different serving trays in her cabinet that she’s acquired over the years. If you don’t have a proper serving tray (like myself), a cookie sheet is a perfect stand in. Of course, this may not impress your guests (if that’s what you’re going for), but the utility of a cookie sheet — spacious, sturdy and some even have handles — makes it an excellent serving tool. To prevent your items from sliding around, lay a dish towel, place mat or cloth napkin on the bottom before loading it.
If you’ve not yet discovered the benefits of using a serving tray, let me explain. Whether you’re catering to guests or to your children, a serving tray allows you to take multiple things to your back yard, porch, pool, sunroom, etc., all in one trip. Without a serving tray, you end up making several trips in and out of the house, which is just plain annoying. And, a serving tray provides the perfect landing zone for empty dishes, trash and accessories for when you’re ready to go back inside. Very useful!