What would Christmas be without some strangely thematic food?!? This year, I became totally enamored with these veggie tray Christmas trees on Pinterest, and I knew I'd have to make one happen. I made my mother volunteer for the veggie tray for our family gathering, and my father and I spent the morning before the party having fun with toothpicks and fresh produce.
I combined a number of similar ideas from Pinterest to make this tree. I should have taken a photo of the base before we started adding veggies - we used a cabbage on the bottom, an apple in the middle, and a carrot on top. Both the cabbage and the apple had the ends trimmed so they sat flat, one on top of the other, and the carrot was a nice handhold to stabilize the tree as we added the veggies. We cut about half of the carrot off at the end because it was too hard to stab the toothpicks into it.
After the base was complete, we added big pieces of broccoli and cauliflower to make up the bulk of the tree. Grape tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers made up the decorations, and baby carrots and more cucumbers were placed around the bottom of the tree like presents. We added some bits of kale here and there to fill in any holes, and the kale really gave the tree a full look. The star on top is a yellow pepper that I cut with a cookie cutter.
The tree was a huge hit at the party, although I noticed that people kept taking veggies from the back of the tree because they didn't want to ruin how it looked. I started purposefully taking my pieces from the front so others would start as well.
The best part of the day, though, was after dessert when my cousin's son came up to me and said "I want that apple!", pointing at the tree. I took apart what was left and gave him the apple. A little while later, I came back, and he was basically using the leftover parts of the tree as legos, building little men with the veggies and toothpicks, then eating each piece. I told my cousin that all snack times from here on out should involve toothpicks. :)
My cousin Emily is also on Pinterest, and leading up to Christmas, she had repinned the veggie tree AND this cool cheese tray tree. I told her what I was making, and I knew her mother had gotten some cheese, so she should make this one. This was a big hit too, and such a simple but beautiful way to present cheeses and meats!