Author Topic: PROPS: Edible prop food  (Read 4391 times)

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PROPS: Edible prop food
« on: Apr 11, 2010, 08:25 am »
Hey guys - I'm trying to think of ideas for cheap, easy to prepare, tasty items to include on several tiered trays. Circa 1930's socialite group where I have to fill two of these trays with sandwiches and sweets. Ideally, I'd like to get a variety of shapes and colors to so they look fabulous. Actors have only asked that nothing be too sweet or junk-foody. No allergies.
So far I've come up with:
 - well, the inevitable tea sandwiches - cucumber sandwich but is there anyway to improve on this? I mean without mayo that would turn bad? Or maybe a pesto sandwich? What other fillings would be good, out of the jar items that won't go bad??
- white bread crust mini tarts - filled with either cool whip or light lemon pudding or something? (cut crusts off of white bread and cut that piece into four - push each little square into a mini tart pan and bake briefly till crisp)
- Angel food cake and/or angel food cake with red food coloring (red velvet cake), or some other, easy, light cake that I can cut up and have in the freezer.
- Sugar cookies or shortbread where I can control the amount of sugar. Any other cookies? Maybe some recipe where I could squeeze the dough using one of those cake decorating tips and bags so they are fast to pump out onto a cookie sheet.

Any other easy recipe ideas that won't take a lot of time to prepare and are tasty would be really appreciated.
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Re: PROPS: Edible prop food
« Reply #1 on: Apr 11, 2010, 10:36 am »
If I was expensing everything, what I might do is get one of those tins with an assortment of luxury cookies and spread them around a tier, then get some bagels (a variety of different kinds: some plain, some rye, some cinnamon, etc.) and make them into bagel chips. (Cut them into slices, toast until crispy.)

The actors who are sweet-adverse can cherry-pick the bagel chips out of the cookies, the audience won't be able to tell the difference, and all will be well in the world--assuming your actors don't mind eating crunchy, crispy food on stage.

I also strongly recommend cranberry relish as a sandwich topping. Even with the sugar, it's not particularly sweet: very tart, very tangy, very citrus, but that's all. You can spread it on bread like marmalades, and I've been able to freeze and defrost it without any trouble. (Although I use a different recipe.) It's also a little crumbly, though, and a pickier actor might object to that.

Speaking of marmalades, they'll add some colour to your sandwich tray without being too sweet. I'd also be tempted to try Cheez Wiz, but I wouldn't be surprised if actors objected to the junkiness.
« Last Edit: Apr 11, 2010, 10:42 am by On_Headset »


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Re: PROPS: Edible prop food
« Reply #2 on: Apr 11, 2010, 11:41 am »
What is the play, and must everyone actually eat? How much must they eat? And how close is the audience?

There are budget items on all levels - an easy tea sandwich is white bread with a lettuce leaf dangling out one side making excellent, stage-ready tea sandwiches - but all of this gets very labor-intense, and as well you want things you can, if possible, reuse or make ahead to minimize waste. Also, you don't want something that can stain a costume or drop on the furniture or floor. You also have to keep in mind things that melt under lights. I would avoid condiments, jellies, spreads - especially the sugary ones. And keep in mind that you will want to add fluids for the actors eating. there's a reason why, in the old days, people used things like instant mashed potatoes to build everything!

There is nothing wrong with gluing and shellacking fake or real items on most of the tray and having only a handful of real, replenished sweets or sandwiches (set in a consistent place) for the actors who must taste nightly.


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Re: PROPS: Edible prop food
« Reply #3 on: Apr 12, 2010, 05:51 pm »
I’d browse a frozen foods sections.  I’ve done several shows that used mini-quiches (look similar to a tart) that we could just heat up before the show, but there are plenty of other appetizers and desserts that will look good and be easy to prepare.  If someone associated with the show has a Costco or Sams club card, you can stock up in bulk.  Something like that will look consistent, and not be labor intense when you have to make it every night.  I second loebtmc’s thought about having fake food on the trays as well to save time and trash.
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