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Serving Food Attractively: Suggestions For Holidays And Special Occassions
Favors: Cut colored cellophane straws into 2-inch lengths. Tie a bundle of the straws together in the middle. Separate the ends of the straws to form a pompon and attach to a name card.
Decorate a 4- or 5-inch red or green candle with ribbon of opposite color. Set in a large gumdrop, a cork, or small square of styrofoam (plastic foam). If cork is used, cover with ruffled cellophane. Light just before entering the room. The candle may also be set in melted wax which has been allowed to harden on stiff, star-shaped paper. (Paper must be stiff enough to serve as a base.)
Make individual popcorn Christmas trees. Use popcorn in natural color or tint green by coloring the syrup with fruit or vegetable coloring, or spraying the corn after it has been popped. Decorate with bits of candied fruit or gumdrops in various colors. The trees can be formed around a wire frame. Insert wire at the bottom of the tree in paper-covered cork base. Cut Christmas tree out of green paper. Using a paper punch, punch holes here and there on the branches, then paste colored paper over the back of the holes so that the colors will show through as different-colored ornaments. Two trees may be cut out together, colored paper pasted to the back of one, and the trees then pasted together. Fold the bases back in opposite directions to form a stand for the tree.
Stand a cutout angel or nativity scene in a cardboard support, a piece of styrofoam, or a tiny square of wood with a slit in center of top. Use paper that is stiff enough to stand.
Fashion a Santa Claus from a large red apple. Attach a marshmallow head with toothpicks; insert candy eyes and a red cherry mouth. With syrup, stick a border of cotton around the middle of the apple, pompons up and down the front, and a border around the neck to form a collar. Fasten a cotton mustache and beard to the face.
Dilute glue and spray on sprigs of balsam, fir, or pine. While wet, scatter grated or shredded bits of styrofoam over greens to resemble snow. Fasten twigs together with red ribbon.
Insert small birthday candles into white or tinted marshmallows. If the marshmallows are tinted, use candles of opposite color. Insert a Life Saver in the side of the marshmallow for a handle. These candles may be used as place cards. Paint the name on the side of the marshmallow, using pure fruit coloring and a paintbrush.
Food Edible red-and-green combinations
Parsley dipped in paprika.
Cream cheese on bread fingers with minced parsley and paprika.
Shredded red and green cabbage, marinated. Beet relish served on fresh greens.
Hot tomato soup sprinkled with minced parsley.
Paprika and minced parsley on baked stuffed potatoes.
Red and green maraschino cherries on salads.
Red and green candied cherries on desserts.
Butter Stars: Cut brick butter into as many slices as needed, then cut each slice into stars (use star form or cardboard pattern). Place stars on individual plates.
Favors: Place a white birthday candle in a cork which has been painted with silver paint. Cut out numbers to represent the New Year and paste on side of cork. Place cork and candle on mat of blue bells. To make blue bells, trace a circle of bells on blue paper in such a way that the top of the bells meet but do not overlap; cut bell tracings up to point of meeting.
Cut a star from stiff red or blue paper for base. Attach a fluted wire, about 4 inches long, to star base at one end and a colored paper name card at the other. Write name on name card. Insert a white 4-inch to 6-inch candle in a styrofoam or clear plastic holder. Place on a glossy blue mat. Cut numbers corresponding to the year from paper similar to that used for the mat and fasten to the front of the base with paste, glue, or tiny pins.
Carve a snowball or other suitable object out of styrofoam. Insert a candle or decorate with ribbon and attach a name card.
Fashion a snowman from cotton. Use cloves for the eyes, a piece of red paper for the mouth, and a paper cup for the crown of the hat. Attach the features to the cotton with glue. Cut the brim from stiff paper to fit the crown. Tie a small colored kerchief around the neck and an apron to match around the waist. To give the hat a more finished look, place a band around the crown and tuck in a feather or artificial flower.
Food Form clock faces on top of frosted cupcakes by using angelica or strips of licorice. Cut hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise, remove yolks and fill whites with black and orange caviar, every other egg white being filled with an alternating color. Cut numbers from 1 to 12 out of turnip slices; place on top of caviar. The eggs should be arranged on the tray in clock fashion.
Write the name of the invalid on cookie bells with melted chocolate. Place in center of dessert, either flat or standing on end.
Form a snowman, using a frosted cupcake for the body and a marshmallow for the head. Use currants or raisins for eyes and a cherry for the mouth. Cap with a slice of a large gumdrop.
Favors: Draw a log cabin in one corner of the name card.
Stencil, draw, or stick gummed pictures of squirrels or other wild animals and birds on stiff background paper cut in same shape as animal. Attach to colored toothpicks and stand in the name holder on tray.
Food Serve strips of fudge, date, or Tootsie Rolls piled crisscross to resemble log-cabin or rail fence.
Use a 2 1/2 to 3-inch cube of chocolate cake. Cut the top surface to form a peaked roof. With chocolate frosting fasten rectangular-shaped cookies to the slanting sides (or roof). The cookies should be the same size as the sides of the roof. Use a large gumdrop for the chimney and long, slender gumdrops or strips for the door and window frames.
Make small sponge cake mallets by spreading thin slices of sponge cake with chocolate frosting and rolling up like a jelly roll. Frost and cut into desired length. Insert stick of candy for a handle.
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY
Favors: Write the name of the patient across a heart-shaped card or valentine.
Use lace paper doilies as a nosegay. Place real flowers in center of ruffled doily or form flowers with different-shaped gumdrops attached to wire stems.
Stand a real flower in a heart-shaped styrofoam or plastic base.
Cut edges from lace paper doily and paste around outer rim of a red cardboard heart. Pierce heart with arrow cut from white construction paper.
Food Serve a Valentine dessert of heart-shaped meringues filled with strawberry ice cream. Stick a Cupid's-dart cookie into the ice cream.
Make heart-shaped cookies and sprinkle with red sugar.
Favors: Buy or make tiny drums; leave one side open, and use as a nut or candy cup. To make drum, paste a rectangular piece of paper, decorated to resemble drum, around paper nut cup having straight sides.
Spray a few small twigs with green paint or dye and hang cellophane-covered red hard candy on branches to simulate cherries. A few fresh green leaves may be arranged among the cherries. Place a 3-inch American shield on the tray. It should have a firm backing so that it will stand. Either blow a raw egg out of its shell or cook egg until firm. Draw the features of Washington's face on the egg. Place a powdered (cotton) wig on top of the head. Stand in stiff paper collar. Food Make cookies in the form of a log and hatchet combined. Decorate with candied cherries.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
Favors: Fasten shamrock stickers to white name cards. Write name in green ink.
Place tiny potted shamrocks on tray. Tie a green ribbon on an Irish clay pipe. Place on green lace mat.
Stand pictures or cutouts of harps or Irish lads and lassies on the tray. Roll sheet music of Irish melodies and tie with a green ribbon.
Hollow out a marshmallow for the bowl of a pipe; insert a green stick-candy handle. Food For an unrestricted diet, top pineapple slices with round molds of well-seasoned green vegetable salad in the shape of the crown of a hat. Spread softened cream cheese on top of the crown and place leaves of watercress around it. Serve on fresh greens.
Top salads with mint or lime gelatin cut in the shape of shamrocks.
Mold quick or yeast breads in shape of shamrocks and Irish pipes. Insert a strip of dough for the stem of the pipe before dough is baked.
Favors: Attach name card to tiny Easter basket. Simple baskets may be made by covering paper dishes with ruffled cellophane and attaching a pipe-cleaner handle. Fasten a tiny spray of flowers at the base of the handle. Metaloid fringe (metal-coated plastic) may be used around cup or other dish of suitable size. This makes a very effective basket. Metaloid comes in many colors. Glossy surfaced gift wrapping paper may also be used to make attractive baskets.
Trim Easter eggs in various ways. For example, paint a face on a hard-cooked egg. Make a hat or cap out of colored paper, then stand in stiff paper collar.
Draw and cut out a mother duck pulling a cart of baby ducks or colored eggs, using paper stiff enough to stand. Insert into slit cut in styrofoam base, or in a paper-covered wood base.
Draw a lily plant with leaves and container on stiff paper. Cut out and stand on tray. Mold a nest with green-paper grass which can be purchased in the five-and-ten-cent stores. Arrange chocolate rabbits or downy chickens and nests of colored gumdrop eggs on the paper grass. Hard-coated candy eggs may be used instead of gumdrops.
Attach a rabbit face to one side of a nut cup. Use a slice of marshmallow for the nose and paper for the ears, head, and whiskers. Any colored, rather stiff construction paper may be used.
Food Butter Flowers: Use a paring knife with a rounded end. Draw the knife lightly across the butter until there is as much as the knife can hold. Remove gently and form into a flower. Place on top of another pat of butter. Butter should be neither too hard nor too soft. Insert a bit of cherry, pimiento, carrot, or orange peel in center of flower. To color the flower, touch the edges with a cloth that has been dipped in brilliant red paprika.
Rabbit Easter Eggs: Hard-cook eggs; cool. Remove shell. Use small gumdrop rings or truffle rings for the eyes, brown straws or twisted crepe paper for the whiskers. Paint or draw the nose and center of eyes with pure fruit coloring. Cut ears from white paper, crease down the center, and fasten in place with gummed transparent tape or insert two blanched almonds for ears; paint a pink line down the center portion of each ear. Cut a slightly curved strip from heavy white paper for the stand. Print name across front of paper stand; fasten ends of paper together. Place the rabbit Easter egg on the stand.
Easter Chick: Cut a marshmallow in half; dampen cut edges and fasten to sides of whole marshmallow. Cut gashes in marshmallow and insert candy corn for beak and tail. Draw eyes with fruit coloring. Use toothpicks for legs and gumdrops for feet.
Butter Lambs: Butter lambs may be molded and placed in the refrigerator to chill before serving. Use bits of raisins for the eyes and cherry for the mouth. A banner with the word "Allelulia" lettered on it may be attached to a toothpick and inserted behind the head of the lamb. Lamb molds come in different sizes, some suited for butter molds, others for cake molds.
Favors: Make a little man out of gumdrops. Use two or three large gumdrops for the body; fasten with toothpicks. Place a large round gumdrop on end of toothpick for head; use three or four long gumdrops for legs and feet. Do the same for the arms. Curve the arms around some spring flowers. Place a small dried apricot hat on head of gumdrop man.Use sprigs of apple blossoms on service plate at base of glass stemware in which appetizer or dessert is served.
Use forsythia sprays or other graceful flowers for grapefruit basket handles.
Arrange daisies around edge of service plate. An attractive effect can be produced with daisies by fastening their stems underneath the rim of the plate with gummed transparent tape.
FOURTH OF JULY
Favors: Tie napkins with red, white, and blue ribbon.
Make firecrackers by wrapping thick stick candy in red cellophane with heavy cotton twine or a long shred of coconut for the fuse.
Write name of patient in white ink on red candy or nut filled firecracker.
Place red carnation on white lace mat. Tie small bow of red, white, and blue ribbon to stem of flower.
Stand a cutout of Uncle Sam in name card holder. Write name of patient on band of hat. Food Decorate cookies with red and blue colored sugar and sprinkle with silver candy decorations.
Cut liberty bells out of cookie dough. Use melted chocolate to mark crack in the bell.
Favors: Insert a small white or black candle in pumpkin candy base.
Fasten a paper cutout owl to a nut cup.
Buy or cut out clowns; stand in styrofoam base.
Make a gumdrop cat. Fasten two black gumdrops together with toothpicks for the body; attach another one for the head. Stick toothpicks through orange jelly beans and insert in body for legs and tail. Use strips of marshmallow for ears and toothpicks for whiskers.
Cut off top of an orange to form a small Jack-o'-lantern. Remove pulp. Cut eyes, nose, and mouth in orange shell with a pointed knife. Cut hole for small candle in bottom of shell. Insert piece of green pepper in top for stem.
Food Make a butter or margarine kitty. Shape butter or colored margarine into balls; drop into ice water to harden. Just before serving, cut chips from an apple peel for the eyes, ears, and nose. Make whiskers with shredded wheat.
Cover the outside of small ice-cream cones with chocolate icing or dipping chocolate. Place a scoop of ice cream on chocolate-iced cookies or cake rounds. Invert the cones over the ice cream. Make hatbands of sliced orange jelly or tangerine sections. Use raisins for eyes and nose and cherry section for mouth.
Cut a cat, pumpkin, or witch from pie dough, then bake and place on top of individual pies.
Favors: Construct a turkey by using a large gumdrop for the body, pipe cleaner for the neck and legs, and a small gumdrop for the head. Paper may be used for the bill and tail. Cut tail in shape of a large open fan.
Draw a picture of a Pilgrim child on stiff construction paper. Stand in name card holder. Paste a horn of plenty in corner of name card.
Arrange colored leaves or fall flowers on napkin or serving tray.
Food Mold salads in turkey or pumpkin forms.
Cut rolled cookie dough in shape of Pilgrims, turkeys, and pumpkins.
The ideas and suggestions in this chapter may be used for table decorations as well as for trays.