Sometimes, seeds of ideas are planted years before they come into fruition.
I first became interested in fruit art when I was twelve years old. A new mother carved a baby carriage out of a watermelon for her daughter’s baby-naming celebration. I was fascinated with how a few knife strokes could transform a simple object into an elaborate sculpture. We don’t know the powers hidden within the ordinary. It takes work to reveal the true potential.
The whole world has been having a rough few months. While in some places, people are getting back to a “new normal,” in others, lockdown still looks endless. Each individual has their own challenges and their own strengths. For some, this crisis has completely destroyed their lives. Others have fortunately gotten off with some stress and inconvenience. We’ve all had to adapt to changes, restrictions, challenges. We’ve all had to look into ourselves to find the energy to cope and move forward.
Last week, I went back to work out of the house for the first time in over two months. While, I would be more comfortable seeing everyone in the streets, stores, and public places fully masked, it was still nice to get out. On the first day back at work, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer to lead a food workshop for teenage girls before Shavuot. I chose to make fruit mountains as centerpieces for the Shavuot holiday table.
Here are some of the results:
Har Sinai Flowering Fruit Mountains
Assorted small fruit
- Cut a melon in half width-wise. Empty the seeds and peel it. This is the base, the “mountain.”
- Lay an apple on its side. Cut in thin circles, width-wise, completely through the apple, to make circles. Poke a toothpick through all of the apple slice on one side, off-center. Fan out the slices one at a time to look like a flower. Attach the flower to the top of the mountain with toothpicks or a wooden skewer.
- Take a fresh, juicy orange. Cut 2-3 mm strips on the peel in 8 lines, meeting at the flower and stem. Peel off the thin strips. The orange will now have white lines. Lay the orange on its side with the lines parallel to the cutting surface. Slice thin circles of orange, completely through. You have just created orange flowers with which you can decorate the base of your mountain.
- Use smaller fruit or your choice to decorate. Kiwis make beautiful flowers or leaves. Cherries, berries, or grapes are the perfect center for each flower.
- Most importantly, be creative and have fun!