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Appetizers/ Garnish

Turnip Rose

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?


Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose   (turnip)
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Thank you William.  I always think of this when I do a turnip rose. Why? I don’t know. I just always think “a rose by any other name” and then realized where that line comes.

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Citrus flower garnish

Don’t Play with your food…

I’m sure all of us have memories of our mothers saying “don’t play with your food”. I know my twin sister and I did when we were small — we got into everything. I told my own children not to play with their food. Seems like if they didn’t like something, they would move it all over the plate to make it look like they had eaten it. They were picky eaters, but have all grown into wonderful cooks, ready to try anything unusual.

So, playing with food. When I was in a Hospitality Management program yearssssssssss ago I had a semester of Garde Manger. In this class we did plate painting, ice sculptures (my first and last, boy was that cold), we did sushi, all kinds of organ meats, cheeses, everything including my favorite, garnishes. I would go home and PLAY with anything I had in the refrigerator. I love making these citrus flowers. I have used lemons, limes, oranges, lemon and limes together. I use these as garnishes on seafood trays or dessert trays. Sure hope you will try these. I can make one in less than 10 minutes tops.

First you are going to take your lemon (lime, or orange). Using a very sharp knife and being very careful, cut the ends off, cut it in half (lengthwise) and proceed to cut in very thin slices. You want the slices thin because you are going to roll the slices up.

Keep the slices as thin as possible. You will be glad later.

Have your toothpicks ready, you will need quite a few.

Pick out one of the thinner slices and roll it up. Then take another slices and overlap it. Keep doing this. You may find it hard to hold on to but after a few slices and wrapping…

Turn it upside down and proceed to overlap slices, building your flower from the bottom up. When you have used all your slices or have the flower as big as you want…

Start inserting toothpicks in the flower. You can clip the ends but I usually cover up with herbs.
Turn over, and there you have it — a beautiful citrus flower. This one is garnished with basil, parsley, a sprig of rosemary and some salad burnett. Mint is really pretty also as a garnish. Hope you will try these. I have never tried a grapefruit but will one day. I will have to show you how to do a turnip rose. They are beautiful too. — Sherry

Cabbage Flower

Red cabbage flower.

This picture isn’t so much about the recipe but about the cabbage flower I used to decorate a tray. I love making these for events I cater. Simple to make and really make an impact on a tray. Take a small red cabbage and using a very sharp knife, make 8 cuts going almost to the bottom but DO NOT cut all the way through the core. Take the head of cabbage and fill a 5 gallon bucket with water. Soak the cabbage in it overnight or until the cabbage has opened up like a flower. These look beautiful on vegetable display. I have cut out the center and inserted small bowl of dip in the middle. The appetizer that is on the tray is biscuit medallions with cilantro mayonnaise spread on top, topped with a grilled marinated pork tenderloin with mango salsa as a garnish.