In medival times plates and platters were used only to serve food. Folks, at banquets, eat off of bread plates called trenchers. The guests did not eat these, though. They were given to the poor after the banquets. Also the people of highest honor at a banquet were given the top and bottom slices since they had a crust that would all foods from soaking through and making a mess. Thus the term "upper crust" used when talking about the rich or elite of society.
Gee, Shawty, I read your post title, and my first thought was, 'does she want to start serving medieval food in the diner??'!!!
Edible trenchers are great, both for the kids and for parties. Use bread, or little baby pumpkins for soup, or bell peppers for a rice salad; any my hubbie's all time fave, that oh so 80's dill dip served in a pumpernickel round.
I've done a fair bit of medieval cookery in my time, but I admit, rarely bothered with the trenchers. Mind, nowadays, there's not much one can do with them post-feast. Your typical modern-day peasant won't take that sort of muck, and food banks aren't too keen on it either.
Here in San Francisco, tourists feast on clam chowder served in a sour dough round that has been hollowed out (what I'm gathering is called a trencher.) Sour dough seems to be especially suited for this because the crust is tough and chewy so it holds up to the liquid.
We have stews and soups in French or sour dough boule all the time. They are more practical when served family style. I have found that it a little much bread for one person after eating.
Our favorite is Shrimp Tomato Basil served in bread. One loaf, usually left out for one or two days. cut not hollowed out. Broiled until toasty and cooled. Rub the inside down with a clove of garlic and fill with soup. We cut off the bread as it lowers.
Gosh. I'll have to make it friday.