When I say make a cheese platter at home, I mean the platter part quite literally.
At its most basic, the simplest way to do this is to take a nice piece of wood, sand it all nice and rounded and splinter-free, and then mineral-oil the shit out of it.
My dad gave me this for Christmas. It’s birdseye maple, which he just happens to have a bunch of sitting around. Birdseye maple cannot be grown–you just have to find it in the wild, much like black truffles–and no one knows why it happens. It has all kinds of little eyes in it, which tear out easily, making it hard to work with. However, because it’s maple, once you’ve got it in the shape you want, if you take care of it it will last forever. Just like anything else rare, hard to work with, and long lasting, it’s incredibly expensive. You can use other hardwoods, of course, like walnut, regular maple, or teak.
The second simplest (and more trendy) way is to buy some chalkboard paint, paint a flat surface, and plunk down your spread with labels.
I fished this breakfast tray out of the trash. When I got it, it had rows of cheesy Mary Engelbreit style flowers across it. In fact, if you rub chalk over the whole surface, gravestone-rubbing style, you can still see them. So I sanded it down, stained the sides inside and out with a nice dark stain, right over top of remnants of blue paint that would just not come out. Then I painted the inside with chalkboard paint, intended to be used as a cute breakfast in bed tray, and then the bottom to use as a meat and cheese tray. It came out just as nice as I hoped it would.
Now I’m going to sell it.