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Best, most aesthetically pleasing way to keep a dish cold at a picnic

Does that win for longest title?!

I am taking a shrimp salad, requested by my fiance, to his boss' going-away party tomorrow night. It also has mayo in it, so I would like to keep it cold. I really wanted to do this ice bowl thing like Martha, but I'm afraid that it would melt and make the salad runny. http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... I've thought about inventing a bowl like those cups that have the liquid between two layers that you freeze, but alas, I don't have time to get a patent by tomorrow! (Nobody steal my invention idea out there!! :-)) I don't really want to put a bowl in a cooler, or anything ghetto like that. Does anyone have any good ideas?

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  1. Alas, I'm afraid you'll have to do something "ghetto" (whatever that means, I'm sure you'll get plenty of comments about that particular choice of words). Keeping any kind of salad cool with mayo in it for long periods of time safely is an important consideration and I wouldn't be worrying about keeping it looking pretty. Safety comes first in this instance, not appearances. Better it should taste good and not give anyone food poisoning the next day. Pack it up anyway you can to keep it at a safe temperature and maybe bring a nice bowl with you to switch it into once you get there if you really are concerned with what it will look like once served.


    1. Yeah, what I do is take a big bowl like this:


      and then place a smaller bowl in it and then fill the big bowl with ice. I make sure to pack my own ice bag (There is always NEVER enough ice at things like this!) and check back every now and then to refill the big bowl.


      1. That ice bowl would be fine (and beautiful), just place your shrimp in a clear glass bowl *within* the beautiful ice bowl.
        I didn't know ghetto was a 'bad word', I knew what you meant.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Funwithfood

          I love Martha's ice bowl. Stuff it w/ herbs and lemon slices or whatever garnishes you think are appropriate to the dish. Find a disposable plastic bowl that fits inside the ice bowl so your dish doesn't get watery. THEN... the whole thing is disposable at the end of the party. Your host will appreciate not having to clean up your bowl and return it. I do think you should bring a tray with sides and a kitchen towel to set the bowl on, so as it melts you don't make a puddle on the buffet table.

        2. Well if you have clear glass or plastic bowls on hand, you could make the ice bowl inside a transparent glass bowl and then nest another smaller glass bowl inside with the salad in it. That way the effect of the ice bowl would be visible but the salad wouldn't be in direct contact with the ice. If that's too much work, you can line one bowl with crushed ice and set the other bowl in it.

          By the way, we use ghetto as an adjective and a noun in SF so I know what you're talking about. C-

          1 Reply
          1. Depending on how much you want to or can lug around, you could pack your shrimp salad in a small ice chest with ice, bring along one large pretty bowl to hold the ice and a smaller pretty bowl to hold the salad, in the ice.
            But it seems to me that it will be fine just serving your salad as is (no ice, no ice bowl), as long as you packed it in ice on your way to the party. Do you think the party food will be uneaten long enough for it to go bad?
            I love Martha, but those ice bowls seem to be useful for serving food outside in the snow.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slacker

              Probably not, but I don't want people to look at it and think, "Oh, that's not on ice, I'm not sure if I want to eat that." I'm probably just over-thinking it... it's my nature!

            2. I know it is a bit late now but at Tues. AM I got a very nice double bowl set intended for just this purpose. The bottom bowl holds crushed ice and insert holds the food. It is sort of like a giant caviar server. I will be using it this weekend for a fruit salad. It was one of those things i happend to see when i was not looking for it and thought that would be handy to have. It is nice plain crystal, unfortunately I chipped it on the way home and make sure I keep a garnish attached to the chip to disguise it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Candy

                I ended up doing the bowl within a bowl thing and just filling the middle up with water... I forgot to put garnishes in the actual ice, but I'll probably fill the gap in today. Anyhow, where did you get that bowl for future reference? I hope it's somewhere where I can find one!

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  At Tuesday Morning, like TJ Maxx etc. you never know what you are going to find. Just keep an eye out.

              2. There is a party rental place that has serving dishes for just this type of thing. When serving a large group I rent them. Ice in the larger, bottom dish, and the food in the smaller dish that sets inside this. When I have a smaller group, I just do this with bowls I have. Works well. mary

                1. I tried this and it works great.......
                  Use the bigger and smaller bowls but put 2 smaller "blue ice" packs (flexable ones are better) in the big bowl and then drape linen napkins over the packs and put the pretty food bowl on top. Lasts a long time and minimal dripping, wetting, sloshing. Sorry this was late!

                  1. do the bowl-in-ice bowl thing but don't forget a pretty GARNISH! parsley or carrot tops, or other herbs, fruit or whatever would look pretty in the space between the bowls.

                    A rule from my floral design classes "COVER YOUR MECHANICS."

                    1. How about filling a large ziploc type bag with the salad - or even small, individual zipper baggies - SEAL WELL and place in a small cooler with ice or ice. A cute little cooler of any kind can hold quite a few little baggies or one big bag. And if you use the small bags, people can eat straight out of the bag.

                      Or is this ghetto? ;o)