Carved orange elephants


Meet Ed and Edward. That’s what my daughter named her carved orange creations. When I asked why, she looked at me liked I’d just asked why leaves are green. “Because they’re elephants, mom.” Well, that answers it.


When I was cleaning out some of my cookbooks the other day I stumbled on The Fine Art of Garnished, publishing date, 1978. My mother-in-law sent it to me awhile back and I haven’t had a chance–or the hutzpah–to give it a try. My youngest? Well, when she saw it as I was stacking up books she immediately started thumbing through it, planning out what we were going to try. Luckily, I talked her out of making the viking-inspired watermelon boat this time…

These elephants are actually easy to make–and don’t require a sharp knife. I was making an apple bird while my youngest settled on the Apple birdelephants. Well, you can see how my bird turned out (in my defense, it was a very, very small apple). But my daughter followed the instructions and stopped at two elephants just because we ran out of oranges.


How to make a carved orange elephant:

  • Find the end of the orange with a circle (where it was picked). Use a paring knife to cut a long “V” in the skin, going down from the circle. Gently pull the skin away from the pith.
  • Lay the “V” portion onto a cutting board (still attached to the orange) and then shape it into a trunk.
  • Use the paring knife to cut a circle on either side of the trunk for the ears. To do this, push the knife into the orange skin but not all the way through to the juicy part. Make a circle starting above the trunk and ending just below the trunk–it’s almost as if you were cutting a slice. Do not slice the circle all the way around. Repeat on the other side and then carefully pull the “ears” away from the base of the orange.
  • With toothpicks, secure grapes for the elephants’ “eyes” and gumdrops for their “feet.”
  • Add kiwi fruit “grass” (optional, but fun).
Ed, not to be confused with Edward the Elephant

Ed, not to be confused with Edward the Elephant

Child looking at carved orange


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