Now that winter is almost upon us, it's "root vegetable" season in the Sprouts produce department. Things that you may have ignored all year long, like yams and beets, turnips and parsnips, are suddenly much in demand for soups, stews and savory dishes. But the colorful fruits of fall aren't quite done yet, and in fact can be used to make some very dramatic displays throughout the holiday season.
FRUITY FLOUNCES & FLOURISHES
As you gussy-up your house for the holidays, there's no need to go to the craft store. Just head to the Sprouts produce department for a one-stop shop! Apples, pomegranates, citrus fruit and pears are easy alternatives to fragile glass and crystal knick-knacks, and, best of all, they are eco-friendly and don't require storage once the festivities have concluded. Simply discard in the trash, or better yet, add them to the compost heap.
Check out these simple ideas for some fresh food frills:
Apples are a quick, inexpensive way to add whimsy to your dinner table. Use your very best handwriting or print out names on small name place cards. Cut a small slit in the top of the apples and insert the place card. Place a finished apple at each place setting. Alternate red and green apples for a festive color scheme. Try this technique with pears and pomegranates, too.
Choose small sturdy fruits that will last, such as small limes, lemons, tangerines, apples and pears. Generously coat each piece with egg wash and shake off the excess. Roll in white granulated sugar and let dry. Arrange the sugared fruit on a decorative cake stand dusted with more sugar for a snowy feel. Add a few pillar candles for added drama. It's perfect as a centerpiece for your holiday buffet. Use the sugar-and-egg white technique to frost evergreen boughs and pine cones, too.
Fill clear glass vases of various sizes halfway with fresh, whole cranberries, and place on mantle or tables. Variation: Fill clear glass cylinder vases half way with water and add the berries. Cranberries are buoyant so they will float; add a floating candle for glowing warmth. Cranberries will last up to two weeks in water.
Bundle whole cinnamon sticks and secure with a rubber band. Tie a bow using colored, decorative ribbon around the bundle and covering up the band. Leave a loop or insert an ornament hook for easy hanging.