This week we have something that every holiday table needs:

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A Holiday Meat Tree! Feast your eyes on this “lovely” thing!

From Kooky Chow! Check it out if you have never seen it!

Tested Recipe!

 1 long loaf unsliced bread
 2 pounds assorted cold sliced meats
 1 bunch leaf lettuce or kale
 Stuffed olives
 Radishes
 Toothpicks

1

For the tree (which is NOT eaten), cut an inch off of one end of bread and stand loaf up on that end. Cover surface with leaf lettuce and secure with toothpicks. Decorate entire surface of the tree with folded slices of meat. Fold each slice in half, then in thirds and fasten to the tree with toothpicks. Begin at base and work clockwise around and around to the top, alternating kinds of meat (bologna, Cotto salami and hard salami are a nice combination). For color, fill in the spaces with radishes and olives. Place meat tree on serving platter and surround with crackers and sauces for dunking meat into.

Ingredients

 1 long loaf unsliced bread
 2 pounds assorted cold sliced meats
 1 bunch leaf lettuce or kale
 Stuffed olives
 Radishes
 Toothpicks

Directions

1

For the tree (which is NOT eaten), cut an inch off of one end of bread and stand loaf up on that end. Cover surface with leaf lettuce and secure with toothpicks. Decorate entire surface of the tree with folded slices of meat. Fold each slice in half, then in thirds and fasten to the tree with toothpicks. Begin at base and work clockwise around and around to the top, alternating kinds of meat (bologna, Cotto salami and hard salami are a nice combination). For color, fill in the spaces with radishes and olives. Place meat tree on serving platter and surround with crackers and sauces for dunking meat into.

Holiday Meat Tree

You know, this recipe is at least realistic. It says very clearly in the recipe that this is just for show, and is not meant to be eaten. Which I appreciate.  I mean, this lunchmeat is going to be touched, a LOT, and no one should be forced to eat massaged lunchmeat. This is a lot more realistic than some recipes, which encourage you to feed your guests sandwiches that have been massaged into dogs and are bristling with toothpicks.

I’m pretty sure Tom swallowed a toothpick during that debacle.

Anyway, on to more pleasant things.

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Oh. Okay. This is an unfortunate photo. Just…ah…just ignore that.

Anyway, moving on….

As you can see here, we forgot to start with lettuce on our bread trunk, and we just went straight for the meat. Honestly, I don’t think adding lettuce would have made that much of a difference, but we did leave it out accidentally. Probably it would have just made the tree look more full.

Of lettuce.

Anyway.

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Now it’s starting to take shape. There is some tree definition going on. Finally. While I was carefully folding lunchmeat to try and mimic tree branches, I was pretty sure there was no way at all we were going to be able to pull this off.

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I shouldn’t have been afraid. This was another crazy recipe that was constructed at a cocktail party. It turned out that my friend Kate was very good at this, especially the olive placement. The strategic olive placement helped a lot. Plus, knowing that we didn’t actually have to eat this thing let us jam in a lot more toothpicks than were probably necessary to arrange the meat foliage.

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And there we are. Success! A tree from meat! Now for the greenery…and….

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Look at this. A perfect holiday table decoration. All it needs is a sign that says: “Meat Tree – Please Do NOT Eat. Ever.”

The Verdict: Not Edible

I thought about making Tom try this, but then I thought about how much I didn’t want him to choke on a toothpick. Again. So instead, here is a GIF of the spinning meat tree:

 

And Merry Christmas! If you are planning on making some Christmas cookies this year, do not forget to check out our extensive cookie recipe archive!