Holiday season approaches, but fruit delivery makes it easy to entertain every day. A couple of things. Every business meeting is a sort of party and, as the Chinese would say, it’s hard to hate anyone who feeds you. Parties don’t require alcohol, big budgets, or fancy preparations.
For business meetings, a beverage tray and a colourful fruit basket does nicely. For long meetings and well-planned short ones, most people won’t even hit the beverage tray all that hard. Still, it’s a polite gesture that people appreciate and fruit makes a quick, simple snack.
Still, whilst fresh fruit alone might not make a satisfying party, kicking your game up a notch doesn’t have to be either expensive or a lot of work. Consider:
• Fresh fruit and cheese make hors d’oeurve
• Sliced fresh fruit sprinkled with sugar and a little cream make dessert
• A fruit compote cooks up in an 800 watt microwave in about five minutes
• A fruit tart is just lightly glazed fresh fruit or compote on a bottom crust
• A parfait is just fresh fruit or compote layered with whipped cream or yoghurt
• A sundae is just fresh fruit or compote with ice cream
• A faux cobbler is just compote topped with granola and a little cream
And so forth. Now that you’re thinking about it, a well-oiled team with roll-out, disposable tablecloth, a microwave, and a few kitchen utensils can prepare a spread of healthy fresh fruit, whole or sliced, and a variety of compotes for holiday tarts or a make-your-own parfait and sundae bar in under an hour with time to spare, just as a caterer would do.
Fruit makes it easy. Delivery makes it custom. Creativity is the only limit. Start simple with apples or mixed berries.
You’ll need a vegetable peeler or paring knife for apples, a chopping board, a sharp knife, a large, microwave-safe bowl with lid or clingfilm, measuring spoons, oven gloves, a heatproof mat, and a large spoon. Plan ahead for the service you’ll need.
Peel, quarter, core, and chop (1cm-2cm) about 600g apples. Cooking apples work best, but any variety that you like will do. Put the chopped apples in the microwave bowl and sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to stop them going brown. Add a 15ml spoon water. Stir, cover, and microwave on high for two minutes. Stir. Microwave again on high for a further two minutes. Let the mixture stand for one minute then mix in about 2 x 15ml spoon caster or granulated sugar. Transfer to a serving bowl. Done.
Fresh berries are about the same. Since you’re not peeling them, you’ll need a bit less to start, about 500g. Berries don’t turn brown, so you won’t need the lemon. Berries also need a bit less cooking time, about three minutes. As with the apples, let the compote stand for about a minute before stirring in the sugar.
TIPS: Take care opening the microwave bowl. Hot fruit throws off a lot of steam. Store apple and berry compotes in the fridge for up to two days.
If you’re ready to step up your game, delivered fresh to your door, traditional holiday ‘baked’ pears microwave in 3-5 minutes on high in a covered microwave dish. Just wash, cut in half, core, and place cored side up in a microwave dish. Tradition calls for stuffing the pears with butter and sugar, but you can fill the cored side with anything you like. If you like, poach the pears, as well. Garnish with nuts or dried holiday fruits like cranberries.