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Festive ways to serve fall food

Canadian autumns are about many wonderful things, and three that come to mind are Thanksgiving, Halloween and football game parties. But what do all of these events have in common?

Fabulous fall food
Pumpkin bowl

These occasions are all great opportunities to serve delicious fall food — and to serve it with festive flair! Why not give some of these fun fall serving ideas a try?


Pumpkins are nature’s own serving bowls! They come in various sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect one for whatever you need and easy to prepare to add a fun, festive punch to your table. Here are a few how-to tips:

  • Clean the outside, then cut off the top to create a lid, and scoop out the seeds and the attached stringy pulp. Be sure to leave a layer of clean, firm flesh, then use the pumpkin within an hour or two.
  • Use it for serving veggie dip, spinach dip, side dishes, salads and the like.
  • To serve a soup, risotto or other warm food, clean the pumpkin as directed above, then roast it upside down on a baking tray for about 20–30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Make sure the flesh is only slightly softened, then fill the pumpkin as desired.
  • Use mini pumpkins for individual-size portions of soup or dessert.
  • For serving party snacks or candy, line the pumpkin with plastic wrap first, then fill it.
  • Try using a white “ghost” pumpkin for a different effect.
  • Discard the pumpkin and leftovers after use.

Nature’s beauty

While pumpkins are an edible way to serve up your favourite foods, there are other ways to incorporate natural elements into your fall table service.

  • Colourful fall leaves can make a beautiful impact to your food service. Thoroughly wash the leaves first, and keep them from touching food directly.
  • Lay a wooden cutting board of bread and cheese on a layer of colourful leaves.
  • Place your trivets or cool temperature serving dishes on small piles of leaves.
  • Sprinkle a layer lengthwise down the table to imitate the effect of fallen leaves.

Seasonal serving pieces

Another option to serving your favourite fall foods is to invest in serving pieces you’ll use every autumn season.

Other ideas

  • Fall is about warm colours and an earthy feel, so whenever possible, use the rich, autumn-tone colours of oranges, yellows and browns to present your food and serve your guests.
  • Rich wood cutting boards, bowls and platters can all add warmth to a table.
  • Apples are another seasonal food that can be used for serving. Cut of the top, remove the core and remember that apples oxidize after being cut, so do a quick rinse with lemon or lemon-lime soda to prevent them from browning. Use for acidic salads such as apple-cabbage coleslaw, or for a fun treat, fill it with hot apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick.

More on entertaining

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8 Etiquette rules for a host
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