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.

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.

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

Like these. Then, I slice the carrot and…

… 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.

I can do the same thing with a radish.

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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