Saturday, October 29, 2022

Snackable Autumn Art: with Citrus!

The end of October and beginning of November mark the season for Halloween and the Autumn Harvest, and there is no better fruit to represent this time of the year than citrus!  As we covered in the last blog, the color orange is the trademark hue of the season, and here at Florida Fruit Shippers, the primary citrus harvest crops are the Fallglo Tangerines, which herald the start of the citrus season, Easy-Peel TangerinesSol Zest Tangerines, red and white grapefruitnavel oranges and red navels. They are available to order now, with shipping in early November. These fruits are perfect for both decorating your home for the season and feeding nutritious snacks to your family: all at the same time!

Goblin Up the Treats

As you can see from this picture taken in your faithful blogger's dining room, the cat, pumpkin, and Morty the skeleton are very happy to see lots of tangerines filling the treat bowl as an alternative to all of the sugary sweets.  With Thanksgiving and the December holidays right around the corner, health often takes a back seat to too many non-nutritious temptations and not enough time to practice healthy habits. As we begin to pack away our spooky decorations and transition into the cozy vibes of Thanksgiving, don't be so quick to pack up the idea of a treat bowl; simply replace the fright-themed one with a decorative basket and repurpose it for healthy snacking throughout the season.


Still Life, Good Enough to Eat!

A bowl of fruit is the quintessential representation of a type of art form called "Still Life." Still Life allows us to appreciate the quiet and often surprising beauty of everyday items in our home, usually from nature. The first picture above, a great example of a Still Life photograph, is of our popular Gift Basket, which also serves as a beautiful centerpiece that's perfect for the season (or anytime of year). To create your own Still Life, you can play with the arrangement of the fruit in the basket, trying different patterns and light settings, and photograph or sketch your design. Citrus baskets are meant to be edible art, so by all means eat your subject material after photographing or sketching! After the delicious citrus is enjoyed, you can keep re-filling the basket with seasonal citrus and even orchard fruits such as those found in the Florida Sunshine Box, and make another Still Life creation before once again heartily eating the subject medium. 

These fruits are delicious enough to peel and eat right on the spot, but since we are waxing creative, you might be inspired to try making a "tang-o-pumpkin" by removing the rind from one or more of our Easy-Peel Tangerines and poking a celery "stem" in at the top. This quick and inventive offering also entices kids to eat the fruit more readily, without the extra step of peeling. Another idea, great for kids and adults alike, is to layer cut-up pieces of oranges and grapefruits with vanilla yogurt in a parfait cup, or simply toss some bite-sized pieces of citrus fruit atop a few dollops of yogurt or cottage cheese.

Edible Mandalas

Continuing our journey into the world of snackable citrus art, we can explore another beautiful form that is made for fruit: Mandalas. Mandalas come from many traditions around the world, and some have a spiritual or meditative component associated with their creation and presentation. They are radially symmetrical, meaning that you want to create a balance of form and shape in all directions from a center point. This type of art is perfect for kids; simply provide them with a bunch of tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, and any other items you might find together such as sticks, leaves, age-appropriate ornamental beads, etc., and start creating! In the photo of the fruit mandala above, yours truly used a square pillow cover with a radially symmetrical floral design as a base. You can also use a circular platter or pizza pan, etc. In Tibetan Buddhist traditions, Mandalas are deconstructed right after you make them as a sign of impermanence, so feel free to start eating your fruit as soon as you finish designing. Best of all, you can keep changing the design as often as you wish, especially as the fruit is consumed and replaced. Making mandalas is a grounding mindfulness exercise for kids and adults alike, as close as your kitchen or dining room table and your box of freshly grove-picked fruit from Florida Fruit Shippers.

Happy edible Autumn art-making, from all of us here at FFS!


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