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Serving Food Attractively: Unrestricted Diets
As already mentioned, food garnishes may be used for invalids on unrestricted diets. Usually one attractive garnish on a tray is sufficient; two different kinds of garnishes may be used in the same service but not on the same food. More than two would give the tray a heavy and overworked appearance.
In each meal certain types of foods lend themselves to garnishing more than others. Breakfasts, which usually consist of fruit, cereal, a protein dish, breadstuff, and beverage can be served attractively through unusual preparation of the foods themselves or by means of garnishes applied to fruits and/or cereals.
Here are a few suggestions:
Applesauce Sprinkle spice on top of sauce before serving, or top sauce with a few fresh or canned berries.
Berries, Cherries Place a tiny, well-formed mound of powdered sugar in center of plate; arrange unhulled straw, berries around the mound.Sprinkle powdered sugar over berries.
Leave stems on cherries and arrange in clusters on plate.
Insert a tiny sprig of mint leaves in center of fruit, or arrange the leaves artistically near edge of dish.
Grapefruit Cut grapefruit in half, separate segments, and place a red or green maraschino cherry in center. For variety, cut cherry in the shape of petals before placing on grapefruit. Serve with or without mint leaves.
Arrange fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or cherries (red or black) around center of grapefruit. Whole nut meats may be used in place of fruits.
Insert three peach slices or slices of red-skinned apple equidistant between grapefruit segments.
Oranges Serve oranges with curled peel attached. To prepare, cut the skin into eight to ten lengthwise sections, beginning at the blossom end and cutting to the stem end. Loosen peel from each segment and curl, rolling peel inside toward orange. Roll peel down as far as possible without tearing from base of orange. Remove white membrane from orange pulp.
Cut orange peel into segments as described above. Instead of removing peel down to stem end, loosen each section at the top to simulate a budding flower.
Cut a 1/2-inch band around the middle crosswise portion of an orange; remove all peel except the band. Serve orange in this way, or make a crosswise cut through the band and open orange. Separate the segments and serve on plate with orange rind on the bottom.
Prunes Serve with orange slice, either whole or cut in wedges.
Sprinkle grated orange or lemon rind on top of prunes.
Arrange orange or lemon rind cut in julienne strips on fruit before serving.
Fruit Juice Serve in a different glass each morning.
Float a small slice of orange, lemon, or lime on juice in glass; top with a bit of maraschino cherry or tiny blossom.
Attach a small slice of orange, lemon, or lime to edge of serving glass; fasten a tiny sprig of green leaves to the slice of fruit.
Cereal Top with fresh or canned berries, cherries, sliced fruit, such as peaches or bananas, dates, currants, or raisins.
LUNCHEONS usually consist of a cream soup, a protein or vegetable dish, breadstuff, salad, dessert, and beverage.
Soups may be garnished with sieved hard-cooked yolk of egg, minced olives, parsley, or pimiento.
Salads, crisp and colorful, lend a tempting note to any tray. They are a garnish in themselves.
Simple garnishes for desserts may take the form of sauces, chopped nuts, whipped cream, or fresh fruit, such as whole or crushed berries, sliced peaches, bananas, or oranges.
DINNERS may or may not begin with a soup. If they do, it is usually in the form of a clear broth, well seasoned. The dinner, in addition to the soup or hors d'oeuvres, would consist of a protein, a starchy vegetable, a green or other succulent vegetable, a simple salad, breadstuff, dessert, and beverage. Any one or two of the garnishes suggested in the preceding chapters may be used; they should, of course, harmonize and present a balanced appearance.