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how to create a fruit arrangement

The word "bouquet" makes most of us think of flowers. But with a little planning you can offer your family and guests a beautiful arrangement made of fruit designed to make people think of a bouquet.

an instant "bouquet"

The fastest way to put together a fruit arrangement is to simply buy a variety of fresh fruit. For example, you may want to choose a colorful combination of a variety of apples, pears, oranges and grapes. Figure out how many guests you are expecting and then select an appropriate bowl. You want to create a generous, plentiful presentation so make sure your bowl is just big enough to display all the fruit attractively.

Place your overflowing bowl at the center of the table and you will have quickly created a fruit centerpiece with almost no effort.

Instead of fruit salad, serve a fruit arrangement

If you are a little more ambitious and are planning for a family event, you may want to surprise your guests with a bouquet made of fresh fruit. When you are finished, you will have a wonderful arrangement that actually looks like a flower bouquet.

For a small group you can make a delicious bouquet a fresh pineapple, 2 pounds of strawberries, one cantaloupe, and about 60 grapes.

You will also need a flower-shaped cookie cutter, a knife, a melon ball scoop, kitchen scissors, bamboo skewers, a cutting board, a vase, and some floral foam.

Begin by cutting your pineapple into slices about a ½ inch thick. Don't worry about the skin; leave it on for this step.

Next, take your cookie cutter and cut a "flower" out of each slice of pineapple. Count the number of flowers and then cut open your cantaloupe. Using your melon scoop, scoop out one melon ball for every two flowers. Now cut each melon ball in half and place a half melon ball in the center of each flower.

Your pineapple flowers now need stems. Use your bamboo skewers. Just stick a bamboo skewer through the center of each flower. Make sure your skewer pokes through the pineapple about 1/2 inch and finish by placing the end of the skewer onto a cantaloupe ball but don't stick it all the way through, just enough so that the end of the skewer is covered. Do this for each pineapple flower.

This is one "flower" for your fruit arrangement.

Next wash your strawberries thoroughly. Remove the leaves if you prefer. Then push the skewer into the top of each strawberry until it is attached securely. Do not let the tip of the skewer come off the other side of the strawberry.

You have now created another "flower" for your arrangement.

Wash your grapes and put five or six on a skewer. Make sure that the skewer does not stick out of the top grape.

You now have yet another "flower" for your fruit arrangement.

Finally, place your floral foam in a vase and make sure it is pushed in securely.

Now the fun begins. All of your fruit "flowers" are on skewers ready to be placed into your arrangement. TIP: If you want to approximate the look of a floral bouquet place your skewers into the foam at different angles. Place the outmost skewers at a wider angle and make them shorter than the center skewers. If you need to adjust the length of the skewers use your kitchen scissors. It's up to you to arrange your "flowers" in a way that looks good to you.

This fruit bouquet is a little more work but your guests will love it and it is guaranteed to make a bigger impression than a traditional fruit salad.

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