Holding down food costs

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Alibi Ike

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For those who live in places where fresh fruit is expensive year round, what have you done to offset those costs while still serving fruit at breakfast? Do you just use fruit as a garnish rather than a course? Bake the fruit into a coffee cake where it is more flour and sugar than fruit? Going over our food expenses for last year we see food costs went up 40%. Mostly the fruit.
We'll be sparingly serving our fruit-based breakfasts this year. But don't want the guests to feel cheated. That verrine looked good and seemed to use a minimal amount of fruit per person. We may get into more things like that. Fancier, but less expensive.
 

Don Draper

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Do you have Costco or Sam's Club or some other discount store near you? You have to buy quantity but the price is significantly less. When we are in-season busy we buy grapes, oranges, kiwis and berries there. They are great quality and price is good because they are being shipped from where they are "in season" now (i.e., Chilean kiwis in the summer, from New Zealand in the winter). We don't do courses, we serve a pile of the same sliced fresh fruit every day.
 

Alibi Ike

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Do you have Costco or Sam's Club or some other discount store near you? You have to buy quantity but the price is significantly less. When we are in-season busy we buy grapes, oranges, kiwis and berries there. They are great quality and price is good because they are being shipped from where they are "in season" now (i.e., Chilean kiwis in the summer, from New Zealand in the winter). We don't do courses, we serve a pile of the same sliced fresh fruit every day..
We do have those but getting there is the issue. It's about an hour and a half round trip. Too much traveling in the summer. Not enough guests in the winter to make it cost effective.
 

Generic

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We are much more interested in seasonality of items. Even items that are imported have seasons where they are cheaper. And there are items that are easier to store and ways to store them. For example, apples keep well for a long time in a refrigerator. We also make applesauce in a number of flavours including Chai Tea that we can serve as starters. Oranges and mandarins are in season in the winter. Strawberries from Florida come after that. Certain fruits last longer, like blackberries. We just look for what's on sale and what is available. And when cooking, we use those that aren't perfect or are frozen. We always have a nice bunch of bananas and if they aren't eaten in time, they are banana bread. But if I have no bananas, I have this fantastic recipe for pumpkin bread (in the fall, I can use actual pumpkins instead of canned.)
We have a basket of fruit on the table and use fruit as a garnish to many dishes. Yogurt with blueberries takes less fruit than a bowl full of blueberries. And coulis is made with frozen fruit.
And we added zeolite packets to our crisper, which seems to help keep our fruit longer.
Our local berries don't really appear until much later, but the quality is so superior to what is imported. We use what we can locally and just shop the local specials when we can't. Recently they had super cheap watermelon, pineapples and honeydew. A few weeks ago it was pears.
 

JBloggs

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

 

Generic

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

 

Breakfast Diva

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Our nearest Costco is a 3 hour round trip. We make it there about once a month in the busy season and really stock up on everything. Most of their fruit will last a long time and if it gets a bit old, just throw it in a blender and make smoothies or chop it up and make a simple crisp. I always have crisp topping in a ziploc bag in the fridge, so I can make individual crisps or even a big one in just a few seconds. We also serve the fruit plated in a small fruit cup or bowl which limits the amount they take. When berries are plentiful in the summer and cheap, we freeze them.
Another idea is to do some sort of parfait, where you can use more cream/yogurt/ricotta etc, then use just a very little fruit.
 

JBloggs

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.
? how does that fit on an individual plate?
I don't have costco. I am not in a city, I am in a small town. Our closest is up near Catlady! or in another state. Next closest is 4 1/2 hours drive.
 

Alibi Ike

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Our nearest Costco is a 3 hour round trip. We make it there about once a month in the busy season and really stock up on everything. Most of their fruit will last a long time and if it gets a bit old, just throw it in a blender and make smoothies or chop it up and make a simple crisp. I always have crisp topping in a ziploc bag in the fridge, so I can make individual crisps or even a big one in just a few seconds. We also serve the fruit plated in a small fruit cup or bowl which limits the amount they take. When berries are plentiful in the summer and cheap, we freeze them.
Another idea is to do some sort of parfait, where you can use more cream/yogurt/ricotta etc, then use just a very little fruit..
Here's where I see MY problem comes up...we can't buy loose berries here. It's all pre-packed. So, if I have 6 guests I need 2 packs of any berry item. Then I have leftovers that are not enough for anything. This is why I think I need to totally change what we serve for fruit. We have NO storage space for fresh foods. One tiny apt-sized fridge and a freezer in the cellar are all we have. I can't keep fruit on the counter as it draws fruit flies or guests will eat it (open concept kitchen/dining room).
Everything for the inn has to be in the one fridge. Just the juice & eggs & jams take up a big chunk of real estate. We have to have room for the fruit dishes, once prepped, to be stored in the fridge before serving. Because I have 2 sq feet of prep surface, all the fruit courses are plated in advance because I can't plate fruit and plate brekkie at the same time. (We've tried, it's hard!)
So, the parfaits are looking good. They're refreshing, pretty and use limited amounts of fresh fruit. We've even gone to smaller fruit bowls but it didn't help last year.
The cobblers work, but not always as the kitchen is teeny. If spouse is using the griddle, I cannot get at the oven to remove the cobbler pan. Our oven door spans the entire floor space side to side out as far as the door opens (we had to take the door handles off the cupboards under the sink after we installed the new stove!) I can still open the fridge, but cannot get to the sink.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Our nearest Costco is a 3 hour round trip. We make it there about once a month in the busy season and really stock up on everything. Most of their fruit will last a long time and if it gets a bit old, just throw it in a blender and make smoothies or chop it up and make a simple crisp. I always have crisp topping in a ziploc bag in the fridge, so I can make individual crisps or even a big one in just a few seconds. We also serve the fruit plated in a small fruit cup or bowl which limits the amount they take. When berries are plentiful in the summer and cheap, we freeze them.
Another idea is to do some sort of parfait, where you can use more cream/yogurt/ricotta etc, then use just a very little fruit..
Here's where I see MY problem comes up...we can't buy loose berries here. It's all pre-packed. So, if I have 6 guests I need 2 packs of any berry item. Then I have leftovers that are not enough for anything. This is why I think I need to totally change what we serve for fruit. We have NO storage space for fresh foods. One tiny apt-sized fridge and a freezer in the cellar are all we have. I can't keep fruit on the counter as it draws fruit flies or guests will eat it (open concept kitchen/dining room).
Everything for the inn has to be in the one fridge. Just the juice & eggs & jams take up a big chunk of real estate. We have to have room for the fruit dishes, once prepped, to be stored in the fridge before serving. Because I have 2 sq feet of prep surface, all the fruit courses are plated in advance because I can't plate fruit and plate brekkie at the same time. (We've tried, it's hard!)
So, the parfaits are looking good. They're refreshing, pretty and use limited amounts of fresh fruit. We've even gone to smaller fruit bowls but it didn't help last year.
The cobblers work, but not always as the kitchen is teeny. If spouse is using the griddle, I cannot get at the oven to remove the cobbler pan. Our oven door spans the entire floor space side to side out as far as the door opens (we had to take the door handles off the cupboards under the sink after we installed the new stove!) I can still open the fridge, but cannot get to the sink.
.
You can bake the crisp earlier in the morning and just serve it slightly warm or even room temp is fine. I do breakfast at 9:00 and 9:30, and I'll take it out of the oven about 8:45 (large baking dish) and still by 9:30 it's warm enough to serve.
Another thing you might want to do is use puff pastry. I use a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you can just cut it in squares, then after it bakes, pull it apart, so there is a top and bottom. Put cream or even pudding on it, slice just 1 strawberry or a few blueberries, then top it with the puff pasty top, sprinkle with powdered sugar and voila, a beautiful "fruit" course. I cook the puff pastry as soon as I get into the kitchen since it takes a hot 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. I pull them apart when they cool slightly, then let them sit until I'm ready to put the cream & berries on it. The photo below has more berries than I typically use, you really only have to use a few inside the puff.
You have quite a challenge with your kitchen setup!

 

Alibi Ike

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Our nearest Costco is a 3 hour round trip. We make it there about once a month in the busy season and really stock up on everything. Most of their fruit will last a long time and if it gets a bit old, just throw it in a blender and make smoothies or chop it up and make a simple crisp. I always have crisp topping in a ziploc bag in the fridge, so I can make individual crisps or even a big one in just a few seconds. We also serve the fruit plated in a small fruit cup or bowl which limits the amount they take. When berries are plentiful in the summer and cheap, we freeze them.
Another idea is to do some sort of parfait, where you can use more cream/yogurt/ricotta etc, then use just a very little fruit..
Here's where I see MY problem comes up...we can't buy loose berries here. It's all pre-packed. So, if I have 6 guests I need 2 packs of any berry item. Then I have leftovers that are not enough for anything. This is why I think I need to totally change what we serve for fruit. We have NO storage space for fresh foods. One tiny apt-sized fridge and a freezer in the cellar are all we have. I can't keep fruit on the counter as it draws fruit flies or guests will eat it (open concept kitchen/dining room).
Everything for the inn has to be in the one fridge. Just the juice & eggs & jams take up a big chunk of real estate. We have to have room for the fruit dishes, once prepped, to be stored in the fridge before serving. Because I have 2 sq feet of prep surface, all the fruit courses are plated in advance because I can't plate fruit and plate brekkie at the same time. (We've tried, it's hard!)
So, the parfaits are looking good. They're refreshing, pretty and use limited amounts of fresh fruit. We've even gone to smaller fruit bowls but it didn't help last year.
The cobblers work, but not always as the kitchen is teeny. If spouse is using the griddle, I cannot get at the oven to remove the cobbler pan. Our oven door spans the entire floor space side to side out as far as the door opens (we had to take the door handles off the cupboards under the sink after we installed the new stove!) I can still open the fridge, but cannot get to the sink.
.
You can bake the crisp earlier in the morning and just serve it slightly warm or even room temp is fine. I do breakfast at 9:00 and 9:30, and I'll take it out of the oven about 8:45 (large baking dish) and still by 9:30 it's warm enough to serve.
Another thing you might want to do is use puff pastry. I use a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you can just cut it in squares, then after it bakes, pull it apart, so there is a top and bottom. Put cream or even pudding on it, slice just 1 strawberry or a few blueberries, then top it with the puff pasty top, sprinkle with powdered sugar and voila, a beautiful "fruit" course. I cook the puff pastry as soon as I get into the kitchen since it takes a hot 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. I pull them apart when they cool slightly, then let them sit until I'm ready to put the cream & berries on it. The photo below has more berries than I typically use, you really only have to use a few inside the puff.
You have quite a challenge with your kitchen setup!

.
That's cute! You cut the pastry before you bake it? Serve it cold? It looks delish!
 

gillumhouse

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Do you have Costco or Sam's Club or some other discount store near you? You have to buy quantity but the price is significantly less. When we are in-season busy we buy grapes, oranges, kiwis and berries there. They are great quality and price is good because they are being shipped from where they are "in season" now (i.e., Chilean kiwis in the summer, from New Zealand in the winter). We don't do courses, we serve a pile of the same sliced fresh fruit every day..
We do have those but getting there is the issue. It's about an hour and a half round trip. Too much traveling in the summer. Not enough guests in the winter to make it cost effective.
.
What fresh fruit is usually available at a reasonable price? What the fruit is will lend to better ideas of how to stretch it/serve it.
 

Generic

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.
? how does that fit on an individual plate?
I don't have costco. I am not in a city, I am in a small town. Our closest is up near Catlady! or in another state. Next closest is 4 1/2 hours drive.
.
Doesn't. It's more for family style service.
Wow, didn't realize it was that far.
 

gillumhouse

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

.
To find a ripe pineapple, tug at one of the center green leaves. If it pulls out easily, the pineapple is ripe. The produce store clued me in to that.
 

Generic

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

.
To find a ripe pineapple, tug at one of the center green leaves. If it pulls out easily, the pineapple is ripe. The produce store clued me in to that.
.
Usually none of them are ripe at the store. A lot of what we get isn't ripe and we have to let it ripen. Some days the bananas at the store can be super green. I have to buy some when I still have a ripe one around, so it can help ripen the rest.
 

gillumhouse

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

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Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

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To find a ripe pineapple, tug at one of the center green leaves. If it pulls out easily, the pineapple is ripe. The produce store clued me in to that.
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Usually none of them are ripe at the store. A lot of what we get isn't ripe and we have to let it ripen. Some days the bananas at the store can be super green. I have to buy some when I still have a ripe one around, so it can help ripen the rest.
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Green bananas in brown paper bag in the fridge overnight will ripen.
 

Generic

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Here is my take. I know if I have an empty fridge (which I let "run out" from time to time) I use up and am creative with whatever else I have. Amazing the dishes and creativity that come from "figuring something out." So for me, shopping daily is a problem. If you can purchase and then "make do" with what you have you will be more apt to stretch things, vs oh I ran out of eggs, I will buy more tomorrow.
Or the other thing is of course, which we already know as well, buying fruit that lasts. Yes blackberries last but if they are $4.50 per little pint then they are not worth it (that is my opinion), so a guest gets ONE on their plate? Not worth it to me. We need the most bang for your buck.
Ike you said 40%, that is ALL OF US on this forum, every last one, unless we grow our own.
Yep shop the sales, if it ain't on sale don't buy it.
Here is an example from me - I buy whole pineapples, they have been a better price than melon! Now if I cut the pineapple up, cut the heart, the skin off there is not much pineapple left, so it takes 3 or 4 times as much pineapple and then it doesn't even look fresh!
So for pineapple it is aways on the plate in a quarter/triangle shape. I can get 4 x a slice, and let's see how many slices approx 8 = so that is 32 triangles per pineapple (more if I cut them thinner). So that is two nice triangles of fresh pineapple per person for 16 people, or 32 people if I just use one (which I will if I have a full color thing going on, ie pineapple strawberries and blueberries)

BELOW IS BAD IMO.
Do this below and you lose most of it and the overall FRESH FRUIT effect! Guests will think it is just out of a can! Sometime leaving the skin, the peel or the rind on is a good thing!

.
Wow blackberries are expensive where you are. We don't pay anything like that for them... if we did, I wouldn't buy them. I think I bought the big plastic container at Costco last weekend for $2.69.
We have to plan with pineapple. It's like a production line. You buy one or two and then have to wait a week or two for them to ripen. So you buy another one or two the next week to keep them in rotation.
Have you tried the Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer? goo.gl/fRXY6 You can then put it all back into the cored skin.

.
To find a ripe pineapple, tug at one of the center green leaves. If it pulls out easily, the pineapple is ripe. The produce store clued me in to that.
.
Usually none of them are ripe at the store. A lot of what we get isn't ripe and we have to let it ripen. Some days the bananas at the store can be super green. I have to buy some when I still have a ripe one around, so it can help ripen the rest.
.
Green bananas in brown paper bag in the fridge overnight will ripen.
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Never tried that. I usually put a ripe banana under them over night to ripen them. If I need it quickly, inside of a plastic bag so that the gas doesn't escape.
Of course, I haven't figured out how to do that with a watermelon :)
 

Breakfast Diva

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Our nearest Costco is a 3 hour round trip. We make it there about once a month in the busy season and really stock up on everything. Most of their fruit will last a long time and if it gets a bit old, just throw it in a blender and make smoothies or chop it up and make a simple crisp. I always have crisp topping in a ziploc bag in the fridge, so I can make individual crisps or even a big one in just a few seconds. We also serve the fruit plated in a small fruit cup or bowl which limits the amount they take. When berries are plentiful in the summer and cheap, we freeze them.
Another idea is to do some sort of parfait, where you can use more cream/yogurt/ricotta etc, then use just a very little fruit..
Here's where I see MY problem comes up...we can't buy loose berries here. It's all pre-packed. So, if I have 6 guests I need 2 packs of any berry item. Then I have leftovers that are not enough for anything. This is why I think I need to totally change what we serve for fruit. We have NO storage space for fresh foods. One tiny apt-sized fridge and a freezer in the cellar are all we have. I can't keep fruit on the counter as it draws fruit flies or guests will eat it (open concept kitchen/dining room).
Everything for the inn has to be in the one fridge. Just the juice & eggs & jams take up a big chunk of real estate. We have to have room for the fruit dishes, once prepped, to be stored in the fridge before serving. Because I have 2 sq feet of prep surface, all the fruit courses are plated in advance because I can't plate fruit and plate brekkie at the same time. (We've tried, it's hard!)
So, the parfaits are looking good. They're refreshing, pretty and use limited amounts of fresh fruit. We've even gone to smaller fruit bowls but it didn't help last year.
The cobblers work, but not always as the kitchen is teeny. If spouse is using the griddle, I cannot get at the oven to remove the cobbler pan. Our oven door spans the entire floor space side to side out as far as the door opens (we had to take the door handles off the cupboards under the sink after we installed the new stove!) I can still open the fridge, but cannot get to the sink.
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You can bake the crisp earlier in the morning and just serve it slightly warm or even room temp is fine. I do breakfast at 9:00 and 9:30, and I'll take it out of the oven about 8:45 (large baking dish) and still by 9:30 it's warm enough to serve.
Another thing you might want to do is use puff pastry. I use a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you can just cut it in squares, then after it bakes, pull it apart, so there is a top and bottom. Put cream or even pudding on it, slice just 1 strawberry or a few blueberries, then top it with the puff pasty top, sprinkle with powdered sugar and voila, a beautiful "fruit" course. I cook the puff pastry as soon as I get into the kitchen since it takes a hot 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. I pull them apart when they cool slightly, then let them sit until I'm ready to put the cream & berries on it. The photo below has more berries than I typically use, you really only have to use a few inside the puff.
You have quite a challenge with your kitchen setup!

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That's cute! You cut the pastry before you bake it? Serve it cold? It looks delish!
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Alibi Ike said:
That's cute! You cut the pastry before you bake it? Serve it cold? It looks delish!
Yup, I cut them before I bake them. If you don't want to use cookie cutters, just take a sharp knife and cut into squares or rectangles. You can use a couple squares and put more layers to make a napoleon. When I use strawberries, it's only 1 berry per person!
 
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