Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Fun and Frugal Food Decorating Event

 photo IMG_0075_zps3e15e45f.jpgIt gets really amusing sometimes when you have a blog like this one, and many of your friends read your blog. Take last night, for example. We had an event that I organized and ran, and when the event was finished, my friend, Debbie, a regular reader, who attended, asked "So, Penny, will you write about this on your blog?" I told her I hadn't planned on it, I don't see why I should, and she said "No, Penny, you totally have to write about this on your blog. It would be really cool to read about it."
So Debbie, I know you're reading this. This is for you!

One of the greatest things about my local community is that it is very cohesive, communal, and close knit. One of the biggest reasons this is so is because one of the amazing ladies in the community has taken it upon herself to organize monthly events for the women of the community where we can get together, do something fun, and just spend time away from the house and the family, and pamper ourselves with a little night out.

Another great thing about our community is that there is an awareness that most of the people are often on tight budgets, so people don't necessarily have the money to do something expensive. So resourceful community organizer has figured out a way that we can have fun without spending a lot of money.

The way these events work is that we have different themes each month, and someone in the community is chosen to lead an event, usually somewhat connected to the theme of the month. Usually if someone has a particular talent that would be fun for others to learn, she will teach people how to do that.
For example, we've had sushi rolling, chocolate making, and crocheting lessons instructed by locals- usually everyone chips in $2.50 or so to cover costs of equipment, and snacks are potluck. We also have "meet and greet" type of events every year or so, when a new batch of people move into the community (we have a lot of new people moving in all the time- its a great, growing community!), gift exchanges around the holidays, and one time we even brought in a friend of mine who gave everyone makeup lessons! That was a lot of fun!

So this month's topic was nature related, ideally connected to fruit- so I thought- why not food decorating?

You all know how much I love everything food related, right? (Why else would a blog that doesn't have anything food related in its name.... be over 85% food related?) I love cooking food, I love eating food, I love inventing new recipes with food... and I really also love making food pretty. (I know, I know... I don't always make the food in the pictures on this blog pretty, but that's usually because its hard enough getting my family to be patient and not eat the food until I snap a picture- I can't also make them wait 20-30 minutes until I finish styling it....)

In fact- I love food decorating so much that when I was a teenager, I had a food decorating birthday party one year...

Food decorating is a fun hobby that is pretty cheap and easy to learn, and doesn't take any special equipment- at least not when you're first starting out, not doing super intricate fancy shmancy stuff.

I learned how to make a swan out of an apple already when I was 8 or 9 years old.
So I knew that that would be one thing I'd teach to the women who'd come to the get together.

And since apple and oranges are the cheapest easily decoratable fruit I can currently get, I decided to demonstrate/teach how to decorate those specifically.

I also found a bunch of food decorating youtube videos (there are many channels exclusively dedicated to lessons on that) and sat down with them and taught myself how to make two different types of apple flowers, and one flower out of an orange, and those are the ones I demonstrated to the ladies.

We all had fun!

Oh- and to keep costs of supplies down, I used a pretty tablecloth that I had left from Anneliese's birthday party (they came in packages of two) that was lying in my house. (Ok- I lied. It wasn't to keep costs down. It was because I couldn't find disposable tablecloths in the local store when I went to buy. But lets just pretend that the goal was to keep costs down, not because I was inept at finding them in that store... Haha. Because it did accomplish the same goal.)

Here's some videos of the apple and orange food decorating we did.

And of course, to prevent food waste- we all ate the scraps of the fruit as we cut them, and then took home the apples to eat as a snack at home.

Someone asked me- did I get paid for doing this event?

Nope- definitely did not. But that's how it goes- everyone chips in, and donates from themselves, both their time and expertise, and everyone benefits in the long run.

I love that my community regularly has events that allow us to have fun, get to know each other, and get to bond with each other, but they are affordable for everyone to attend.

If your community doesn't have such a thing going on- consider starting one! It's really awesome.

Do you have get togethers in your community, to help the people there connect with each other? Do you have a sense of community where you live? What builds the community? Would you start such events to be able to form a sense of community where you live, or do you think the people there wouldn't be so interested?
Ever do food decorating? What type of food decorating do you know how to do or do on a regular basis?


  1. Where is there room for everyone to meet?

  2. I have been wanting to something like this with some women in my community. I don't think many of my immediate neighbors would be interested. Thanks for the encouragement:)


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