“Two Pretty Salad Garnishes”: Making your Holiday Table Beautiful, 1900

Your Editors can hear your plaintive cries, “Enough with the dessert recipes! What I really need is an early 19th-century way to spruce up my holiday table!”

To the rescue is the Herald Century Cook Book, published by the editors of the Grand Traverse Herald, predecessor to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, in 1900. No need for expensive flower arrangements! Be carbon-friendly with these two salad garnishes: Radish Roses and Celery Daisies. We imagine these would be a lot of fun  for a small party to make together, children too, with proper supervision. Send us a photo of your “edible decorations,” and we’ll publish it in the next issue of Grand Traverse Journal.

“Radish roses are made by taking small, round, red radishes and cutting through the surface with a sharp pen knife in sections, leaving enough uncut at the bottom to hold them together. Put them in cold water, and the cut portions will curl backward like the petals of a flower, the bright red contrasting with the white center.

"Thanksgiving Table, 1895," from the Bensley Collection, Traverse Area District Library, Local History Collection.
“Thanksgiving Table, 1895,” from the Bensley Collection, Traverse Area District Library, Local History Collection.

Celery daisies are made by cutting the celery stalks into inch lengths, then with a sharp knife, cutting the stalk halfway down into slits, then again across these slits. Throw the pieces into cold water, when, in the course of a few hours, they will curl back to resemble the petals of a daisy, and the likeness may be further carried out by placing a tiny round piece of the hard-boiled yolk of an egg in the center of the celery.”

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