With Labor Day approaching, many of us are planning on attending end of the season BBQ’s, potlucks and parties. Along with the fun and festivities often comes the responsibility of bringing along a contribution to the meal or snacks.
There are quite a few frugal standbys that I use for these type of “dish to pass” occasions:
But this year I decided to try something new. Inspired by the birthday luncheon that Meredith over at Like Merchant Ships hosted for her mother, I decided to add Fruit Kabobs to my repertoire.
Now, don’t get me wrong-fruit can be expensive, especially if you buy out of season. This idea is sort of a mid range frugal idea-there are things like the baked beans and caramel corn that would cost you a whole lot less than fresh fruit. But in the summer when beautiful, delicious fruit is plentiful and inexpensive you can really make a beautiful platter up frugally.
The premise is simple. You buy some wooden skewers, cut up a bunch of different fruit, and thread them on.
You can see that I used apples (tossed in a tiny bit of lemon juice), red grapes, green grapes, watermelon (made into balls with my small pampered chef cookie scoop-it was a pre frugal purchase-cubes would have done just as well), fresh pineapple (canned would work) and a can of Mandarin oranges. This was WAY more fruit than I needed to make my Kabobs. We were eating grapes and watermelon for a couple of days (oh-break my heart!).
For me the least expensive fruits were the apples and grapes (which I had the most of). So I made sure that they featured prominently on the skewers, with the more expensive fresh pineapple, watermelon and oranges interspersed. My pattern was green grape, watermelon, red grape, orange, green grape, pineapple, red grape, apple, green grape.
Now, doesn’t that look stunning? I used the end of the watermelon as a base to stick some of the kabobs in, then just stacked the rest on the platter. The small container of raspberries were from a U-Pick outing the week before.
Additional benefits to the Fruit Kabob:
#1 It just looks darn impressive. When I brought this platter out from the kitchen, people literally ohhh’ed and ahhh’ed. While that wasn’t my main objective, it did feel nice
#2 It was much easier to eat at a stand up BBQ type affair than regular fruit salad or a fruit platter would have been. Grab a skewer and you can hold all the fruit in one hand while talking and walking around.
#3 The fruit was distributed evenly among guests. Have you ever noticed when there is a fruit platter at a party, certain fruits go first? Watermelon, strawberries (which I didn’t use this time) etc go first, leaving the common apple and grape sitting there looking lonely. With the Kabobs guests were gently forced to take a little of everything.