Kitchen & Pantry

Carving fruits and vegetables

I have a cookbook where the last chapter is dedicated solely to food decoration. You know, like to how to turn a bell pepper into a blossoming flower. Or how to make those web-like patterns on the surface of a cake. Some of the instructions in that chapter, I’ve tried. And succeeded. Just look at my strawberry feathered cheese tart. But the rest… Well, I’ve had that book for over a decade and that strawberry feathered cheese tart is how far I’ve gone with food decorating. Maybe, decorating just isn’t my thing. In fact, I don’t like the idea of making a bell pepper flower which no one will eat.

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There are decorating ideas though that aren’t wasteful because the beautiful creations are still perfectly edible. And delicious. Like this watermelon with the carved sunflower. I didn’t make that obviously. I took that photo aboard the Royal Caribbean last year. But, to explain what I mean with pretty but perfectly edible food, let me show you more photos.

Let’s leave the watermelon aboard the Royal Caribbean and go into my kitchen.

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Carrot florets. Those I can make. I peel a carrot and cut V-shaped grooves all around it.

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Like these. Then, I slice the carrot and…

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… I have florets. In a stir fried dish, those carrot florets look wonderful. But they aren’t merely decorative — they are part of the dish.

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I can do the same thing with a radish.

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And create radish florets.

But fruit baskets? Oh, my goodness. You know, the day I made the pineapple and chicken rice and served it on the hollowed out pineapple shells? I swore it would be the last time.

I wish I had the patience for such things. I wish I had the inclination for them. But I don’t. Not now, anyway. I have a friend though who does wonders with fruits and vegetables. She serves her cole slaw in a cabbage bowl. And she makes bowls out of watermelon and melon too. Maybe you’d like to visit her. Her name is Marilyn.

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