Graduations are extra special this year because finally — after a lengthy pandemic pause — people are gathering again with family and friends to celebrate their favorite graduate’s achievement.
So, are you honoring someone in the Class of 2022 this year?
If so, this column may come in handy.
Here are a few ideas, to help you get your party planning started.
Fruits and vegetables
A selection of fruits and vegetables is a great way to start.
You can arrange them on a tray, or build them into a three-tiered arrangement.
It’s hard to go wrong with fruits, veggies and dips or spreads.
Here’s a thought: Choose colors of your graduate’s school to get in the spirit of things.
(Shout out to my fellow University of Central Florida alumni: Enjoy some pineapple and blackberries.)
How about some candy?
You can make a candy station in jars:
- Smarties for your smarty pants graduate
- Ring pops for class rings
- Sour gummy worms for book worms
- 100 Grand bars, for those who have big student loans; or, optimistically, for a graduate’s future salary
And, of course, Nerds are another option.
Here’s a smart idea: Create your own edible diplomas
Make edible diplomas by simply tying a school-color ribbon around diploma-shaped food: cheese sticks, spring rolls, Little Debbie Swiss rolls, sandwich wraps, and so on.
A taco bar, a hot dog bar, an ice cream sundae bar, a salad bar, a coffee bar or other various types of food bars or stations go great at a graduation party.
How about a charcuterie board?
These have become increasingly popular charcuterie boards, with their visual appeal and assortment of different textures and colors of various foods.
The University of Arkansas Extension offers these pointers:
Start with four different cheeses: Hard, semi-hard, semi-soft and soft.
Choose three cold cured meats.
Select three types of crackers: Plain, multigrain or whole grain and flavored.
Use fruits to add color to your board. You can do two or three fresh fruits and one dried fruit.
Fill extra spaces on the board with nuts.
For extra saltiness, add in something briny like pickles or olives.
Choose some spreads. It’s good to have a variety, such as jam or honey for a sweet spread and hummus or mustard for a salty spread.
You can focus on a graduation theme
- For graduates from medical programs: A clear jar full of marshmallows (cotton balls); a glove filled with popcorn (sterile glove); jellybeans or mixed nuts (kidney stones); a piece of cheese on a rectangular cracker (a Band-Aid); Jello shot syringes or plastic needleless syringes (shots).
- For graduates from law school: Gavel pops (the top half of a marshmallow dipped in chocolate, inserted with a thick pretzel stick.)
Now, without further ado, congratulations to all of you who are hosting graduation parties this year, and good wishes for all of the graduates in the Class of 2022.
By Shari Bresin
Shari Bresin is the Family & Consumer Science Agent for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Pasco County.
Here’s a recipe from premidiatedleftover.com for a treat that will work for graduates, at any level.
No-bake graduation cap cookies
- 12 Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares
- 1 box Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies
- Decorating icing (school colors or grad’s favorite color)
- 4 ounces milk chocolate morsels
- Melt chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on high, stirring every 15 to 20 seconds until melted.
- Warning: Do not overheat as the chocolate will seize.
- If the chocolate becomes tough, you can add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or vegetable shortening. Do not add water.
- Dip one side of the Fudge Covered Oreo in the melted chocolate. Immediately press against the branded side of the Ghirardelli Chocolate square
- For the tassel, pipe a curved line from the middle of each chocolate square to the corner. Add a small dot of icing in the middle, at the beginning of the line.
- Allow chocolate and icing to set completely, prior to packing or serving.
Published May 18, 2022
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