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Arranging the Fruit Bowl...are you a freak about this too?

I always like to arrange the fruit as if Gourmet Magazine is walking in and taking that money shot of how well I color coordinated the fruit together in a bowl or on a really cool platter..
I have certain bowls/plate colors that go with certain fruits of the season..
Am I the only one that does this?
; )

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  1. you're *so* not alone in this :) i always make sure the contents of the basket on my counter are arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner. i get stressed out if things are piled in at odd angles.

    1. I really enjoy arranging my fruit, too! It's sort of like arranging flowers, right? (Or so I tell myself to avoid having the come to the conclusion that I'm neurotic...)

      One of my favorite arrangements right now, since peaches are in season, is to arrange five in a row on a long, white, rectangular platter on the middle of the kitchen island. Simple and pretty.

      The fruit bowl has lemons, avocados, tomatoes and a few heads of garlic in it, deliberately mixed so that the colors are interspersed faux randomly.

      12 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        "The fruit bowl has lemons, avocados, tomatoes and a few heads of garlic in it, deliberately mixed so that the colors are interspersed faux randomly."
        sounds like mine! i have a couple of red onions & limes in there too :)

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Beautiful, huh? It's about time I sacrificed a few to make guacamole... but I don't want to mess up the arrangement!

        2. re: cimui

          cimui, his sounds like a stunning presentation. I have some small peaches right now, and I am going to see if they'll fit on the narrow rectangular platter I have. Thanks for sharing!

          1. re: cimui

            First, cimui, I have to say that I am jealous that somehow in NYC you managed to have a kitchen island. :)

            I do this too. I have one beveled (sp?) green glass bowl that right now is filled with lemons and limes. And another crystal cut bowl that has an assortment of different colored plums and a pluot. Damn I love the greenmarket.

            But in addition, and this I do much more often and year round ... I love having vases of fresh herbs arranged around (basically wherever I have space in my kitchen, not much counter space). Right now I've got a big vase of sweet basil, a smaller one of another kind of basil and one of mint. It's like awesomely pretty and great smelling flower arrangements.

            1. re: LNG212

              The green glass bowl sounds *so* very pretty. I love the way limes, in particular, look in a bowl -- they really refresh the eyes. But I have a hard time eating them all before they start turning kind of yellowish!

              Love the herb bouquets on the counter, too, but mine die so quickly -- within four or five days. Any tricks for getting them to live longer in water?

              [Oh, and btw, my kitchen island is Bishop Rock of kitchen islands -- so no need for jealousy. It's so small, a fruit plate is about all it fits. :)]

              1. re: cimui

                Right now there are so many limes because we're on a mojito kick. I also tend to use a lot of citrus zest and juice in my cooking because I think it freshens things up.

                As for the herbs ... I find that if I cut them stems and put them in water when I first get them and then trim the stems every other day or so, then they last quite a while. Kinda just like the florist tells you to do with actual cut flowers. Seems to work for me. Right now they are lined up on the window sill and they look pretty there.

                1. re: LNG212

                  Yellowing limes and wilting mint are my excuses for making mojitos! (I'm on an extended kick, too. :) Did you ever find your muddler?

                  I'm clearly very ignorant on flower care: I've never trimmed the stems of either flowers or herbs after day one (and ok... never of herbs even on day one). I was surprised to find that even the giant bunches of basil you buy at Fairway with the roots still attached don't seem to last long in a jar on my counter. I'm not sure whether the roots are too damaged during transport or storage or what.... Will definitely give stem trimming a try -- thank you, LNG!

                  1. re: cimui

                    I did get a muddler. It's great and we're having fun with the mojitos.

                    As for flowers, I didn't know that either until a few years ago when I got an FTD bouquet that came with the most detailed instructions I'd ever seen. Then it dawned on me to try the same thing for the herbs.

                    The ones at Fairway with the roots -- I trim them off anyway. My friend keeps the roots on and puts in water and has success that way. It hasn't worked for me that way, hence the trimming. I hope it works for you too.

            2. re: cimui

              I don't have an island, but I do put my farmer's market bounty in a scalloped silver bowl on the dining room table, until I decide that some of it really needs to go into the fridge. I'm sure I posted a photo of it once here, but am equally sure that I'll never find it again!

              1. re: MMRuth

                That sounds so perfect. I always love it in movies or tv when there will be a big fancy bowl in the middle of the table filled with loveliness. I'm jealous -- we have no dining area either. But we eat pretty good nonetheless. :)

              2. Nope, not alone. Food is beautiful to look at. I think I will always love the sight of a nice bowl of perfect Granny Smith apples.

                1. I also have a huge 3 ft glass vase and my neighbor has a lemon/orange orchard and I will fill it up with lemons and then buy huge arrangements of calla lillies or other dramatic flowers and talk about a lovely floral arrangement.

                  2 Replies
                  1. I probably would, if I had a fruit bowl, since I place apricot wedges in a sunburst pattern on top of my artfully swirled scoop of breakfast yogurt. Food tastes better when it's pretty.

                    1. I do this too! Perhaps it was because my Mom often placed a full fruit bowl in the center of the kitchen table, and holiday meals always ended with a HUGE fruit platter. I am not as artistic as some here, but I definitely take pleasure in filling my fruit bowl and enjoying it each time I pass by.

                      1. It almost makes you sad to have to f*ck it up when you want to eat some ;) adam

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: adamshoe

                          Oh no, I'd never actually eat fruit from the bowl!

                          1. re: Cachetes

                            LOL! ever seen anyone try to eat FAKE fruit from someone's display? it's quite hilarious :)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I've never actually seen it, though it reminds me of an episode of Arrested Development, where Michael finds out his girlfriend has a mental disability b/c after biting into one piece of plastic fruit, she still goes on and tries all of the others. I know it's not politically correct, but it was funny.

                              1. re: Cachetes

                                Here's where I don't admit that as a young child, I didn't bite into one of the plastic apple ornaments that was hanging on the Christmas tree. My parents don't still hang it up every year -- in the same spirit with which they don't enjoy showing my X-rated naked baby pics to visiting friends.

                        2. This is Chowhound afterall where we obsess. Most of us have OCD that carries over into the kitchen and dining room too. You are definitely not alone on this one.

                          1. Well...I'm feeling better about myself..hee hee
                            Love all your responses..
                            The 'show' bowl with the perfect placement of gorgeous fruit..with the faux fruit these days, I been punk'd by some of them.

                            1. Absolutely - yes, yes, yes!!!

                              1. Just to let you all know, I find all your posts amusing, but I think you're nuts ;)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: guilty

                                  i can't speak for anyone else (except the voices in my head), but i make no secret of my craziness ;)

                                  1. re: guilty

                                    Well thank you!!!
                                    What kind of nut do you think I am?..I prefer pistachio..
                                    ; )

                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                      Well if you're passing out nuts, make mine Brazilian. I like exotic places.

                                      I once had a crystal bowl filled with potpourri on a side table and a guest entering the room scooped a handful thinking it was a savory concoction to go with drinks.....fill in the blanks.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        One of our now gone-to-her-great- reward Labs used to crack and then eat walnuts if I left out a bowl at her level. Two-legged guests have grabbed handfuls of the dog treats that look very similar to oyster crackers.

                                        Re the fruit arranging, yeah, I think you're all nuts or fruitcakes. On a (semi) serious note, some things don't taste good at room temp, i.e., apples (at least in my book). So do you really not eat these arrangements?

                                    2. re: guilty

                                      I would certainly appreciate the beauty that you're creating. However, since I'm far more toward ADD than OCD, it's a good day when, like today, I pulled the fruit-fly-laden rotten nectarine out of the fruit bowl and threw it away, to give the rest of the fruit a fighting chance. But I'll share my fruit fly trap recipe with you all if you ask really nicely!

                                    3. This thread is making me think of Next Food Network Star. They do the interviews of the contestants in a room where, in the background, they have all multiple geometric vases with oranges in them. My first thought is always, "Wow that's gorgeous. I so need to do something like that (and I have, with apples at Rosh Hashana and can now tell my family I'm not crazy)". My next thought is (here comes the OCD part), "how often do they have to change the oranges? Maybe they use fake oranges? But do they feel right using FAKE oranges on a cooking show?" and on and on. I sometimes miss the interview....so glad I have a forum on which to admit this.

                                      1. Naw, I do it too. About twice a year, when the plastic fruit needs dusting or washing.

                                        1. We don't keep a fruit bowl out unless company's coming. Both at home and at the restaurant we use fruit arrangements to convey a sense of abundance - it's appetizing.

                                          Now that the orchard fruit is in season, it's always so nice to have a nicely-arranged bowl of fruit on the table just crying out, "eat me, eat me!"

                                          1. We always had a pretty crystal fruit bowl sitting either on the dinner table or the banquette when I lived at home. And for as long as I can remember, whoever found themselves putting away the fruit from the grocery store also found themselves' obssessively adjusting the oranges and bananas and grapes until they found the perfect arrangement of colors, heights and depths to please the eye. Even as a young boy I found myself succumb to these enticements and at the age of 3, made myself a step ladder of chairs to climb onto the table and grab at the beautiful fruits. My aunt found me sitting on her dinner table confusedly gnawing on a bright red wax cherry, trying desperately to swallow before I was caught.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              I display some of my fruit on a burnished silver pedestal that we keep on the kitchen island. The bowl is half full of gorgeous faux fruit (apples, pears, and cherries) and then I top it off with fresh fruit like bananas, Granny Smiths, and pears. My family knows which ones to eat, and because of the 'starter fruit' the bowl is never empty.

                                            2. Sweet potatoes and yams add an intriguing bit of texture to your fruit and veggie bowl arrangements.

                                              It ain't all about the pretty!

                                              1. The only time I arrange fruit is during the end of the year holidays, when clementines are plentiful and I can keep them cool in my cold pantry or even on the porch. I place my candlesticks in soup plates, and mound clementines around them. I might stick a few cloves in a few as well, to release the citrus and clove oil. These arrangements take up very little extra space at the table, and do not block anything, yet make a vibrant visual and olfactory effect. The clementines are intended to be eaten after the main course if people wish to do so. I've been doing this for many years.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  This sounds beautiful, Karl. I will try that this year when December rolls around.

                                                  Whenever I think of clementines, I remember M.F.K. Fisher's essay about one of her “secret indulgences.” You can read it in “Serve it Forth.” She tells the story about how, while waiting for her first husband, Al, to come back to their flat by the Rhine, she placed sections of tangerines on newspaper atop the radiator. Hours later, she'd come back to a fragrant delight: “On the radiator the sections of tangerines have grown even plumper, hot and full. You carry them to the window, pull it open, and leave them for a few minutes on the packed snow of the sill. They are ready,” she wrote.

                                                  While I don't have a radiator or snow in South Florida, every time I peel a clementine I think of her. Simple pleasures are so sweet. Even sweeter when food is involved.

                                                  1. re: culinarynomad

                                                    And how sweet your description is. Thank you for a bit of loveliness.

                                                2. This morning I just realized another reason why I enjoy our fruit bowl. It sits on a pedestal table that is a bit taller than my 4 year old son. I love watching him stand on his tiptoes and peek over the edge of the bowl to see what fruit goodies are inside. Then, he carefully reaches his little hand over the edge, pull out a juicy plum (this morning), and sinks his teeth in. Pure pleasure, for both Mom and son.

                                                  1. I have an orchard on my property so I arrange lots of fruit. In the Fall I like to arrange apples in this big earthenware bowl I have. Especially green apples. I also like pears standing strait up in it and piles of green gage plums. So lovely. I just picked a pile of cherries about 20 minutes ago. When I got in I washed the dog hair off my pretty bamboo bowl and a beautiful pewter bowl. I am going to fill them both with my freshly picked goodies.

                                                    This year I planted two fig trees. I am going to buy a couple new special bowls for those beauties.

                                                    I am still trying to find a home for apricots and peaches. Nothing looks right.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                      The thread regarding writing some food lyrics to songs got me thinking. This is part of an old Texas song we used to play. Hope you don't mind:

                                                      I was young and happy and my heart was light and gay,
                                                      Singing always singin' through the sunny summer day;
                                                      Happy as a lizard in the wavin' chaparral,
                                                      Walkin' down through old Laramie with Snagtooth Sal.

                                                      Sal, Sal, My heart is broke today —
                                                      Broke in two forever when they laid you in the clay;
                                                      I would give creation to be walkin' with my gal —
                                                      Walkin' down through Laramie with Snag-tooth Sal.

                                                      Bury me tomorrow where the lily blossoms spring
                                                      Underneath the willows where the little robins sing.
                                                      You will yearn to see me — but ah, nevermore you shall —
                                                      Walkin' down through Laramie with Snagtooth Sal.

                                                      Refrain: —

                                                      Plant a little stone above the little mound of sod;
                                                      Write: "Here lies a lovin' an' a busted heart, ….

                                                    2. Just got a gorgeous Tiffany fruit bowl for my birthday in September and though I love it, I'm having 'issues' with it..my fruit doesn't look as put together as the lesser spent fruit bowls..
                                                      The depth of the bowl is such that fruit doesn't seem the highest and best use, plus, the fruit doesn't arrange itself right..
                                                      Any ideas for me?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                        Turn it upside down and use it as a lampshade?

                                                      2. I looked at my fruit bowl this morning...Ha...some things never change!
                                                        ; )

                                                        1. Saw on the morning news show this past week that if you place your tomatoes, stem side down, they will last a lot longer (3-5 days) than stem side up.


                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                            That's what we do but not with vine tomatoes. With tomatoes still on the vine it's green side up...

                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                              With my kitties around, stem up vs stem down makes no difference - the tomatoes wouldn't last a day in the bowl! I can no longer keep anything besides citrus, onion & garlic on display.

                                                              But yes, in the cabinet - or, thanks to a CH tip, the microwave - the tomatoes sit stem down.

                                                            2. I arrange and rearrange until it looks like a nice still life. I rearrange again when a piece gets eaten. And I buy more when there's little left.
                                                              I'm with William Morris, "don't keep anything in your house that isn't useful or beautiful". Lucky it's both.