Tuesday Tutorial - A Berry Holiday Tree

berry holiday treeI received the perfect email from Lyz Nardo to help celebrate the holidays - an edible centerpiece from cookbook author Tish Boyle that will become a party highlight, or even the perfect hostess gift.

Now, for me and my peeps up here in colder weather, it would cost an arm and a leg to get our hands on decent strawberries, but no fear, you know next summer when we are knee-deep in strawberry season you can use this fabulous idea for any occasion!

1 floral foam or green Styrofoam cone (measuring 4-5 inches in diameter at the base and 12 inches high)
1 box of toothpicks
4 one pound containers of fresh strawberries
1 bunch fresh mint
1 slice from a carambola fruit (also known as star fruit)*

*Note: If you can’t find a carambola, you can use a 1-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a star shape from a mango slice instead.

1. Wash the strawberries and blot them dry with paper towels. Pull off the green stem from each strawberry. Reserve a perfect strawberry for the top of the ‘tree’.

2. Push a toothpick halfway into the side of the cone, about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge. Secure a strawberry to the toothpick, piercing it through the stem end. Secure another strawberry right next to the first one. Continue securing strawberries to the cone in circular rows up to its top, covering the cone completely. Secure the reserved strawberry to the top of the tree.

3. Remove some mint leaves from the bunch of mint and tuck them between the berries, placing them at about 3-inch intervals.

4. Secure the star-shaped carambola or mango slice to the top of the cone using a toothpick.

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