Beautiful, easy to make squash bowls will be the highlight of your holiday table this season. Use plastic inserts and simple carving to amaze all your guests. Use these bowls for serving nuts or candy, crackers or dip, and even seasonal arrangements.
Here is an easy and innovative idea using squash as bowls. Hollowed out squash are seen used as bowls in many places. However, using a hollowed raw squash limits what can be served inside. Nuts, candy or crackers would absolutely not work. A salsa might, as long as you do not mind the squash flavor. But why not carve out a squash to fit a plastic bowl inside? Squash come in all sorts of colors and sizes, and make lovely displays on a buffet table.
With an idea of what you want the end product to look like, select pretty squashes. Things to watch for when selecting are:
They be well balanced in shape
They will set level on a flat surface
They are wide and deep enough to hold the container selected
There are plenty of squash varieties to choose from. Keep in mind that if the squash is pretty, but has a point at the bottom like an acorn squash, it can be turned over so the top is now the bottom and it can be used this way.
Grocery stores often have a condiment bar or other food to go and small plastic containers with lids, used to take home olives or pickled peppers and such. Some of these containers are perfect sizes for the squash. Some plastic containers have too high or thick a lip at the edge, so think what containers would best set inside the squash. The squash should be the star of the show. The idea is to make the plastic container relatively unnoticeable. Small glass or ceramic containers could also be used. What is best about plastic condiment containers is that lids can be placed on the container once the party is over, so leftovers are easy to remove and store.
Begin by tracing around the top of the squash with a marker to define an opening that is smaller than the mouth of your bowl or container. Better to start out too small and widen gradually. Take out the top of the squash and with a large spoon, scrape out all the seeds and strings, leaving it relatively smooth inside. Widen the top edge little by little, using a sharp knife and the spoon to scrape away the flesh. Test the width continually, until the container starts to fit inside. Check which edges are the tightest and work on them. Once the top opening is large enough to slide the container in partway, begin to scrape away the inside flesh of the squash until the container slides snugly inside. If the squash will be kept for some days, use a very mild bleach solution to rinse out the squash to prevent mold from forming. Keep the bleach ratio very low and rinse thoroughly. A too strong bleach aroma will not make your holiday foods tempting.
Set out your finished bowls for salsa, guacamole, dips, candies, nuts, or crackers. Keep in mind that with green oasis or Styrofoam, they can be used for flower or other fall or winter arrangements, elevating your presentation to a whole new level.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
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