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As 'joe' suggested, there were special small platters for relish trays.   Kind of like a football shaped French asparagus plate, i.e., partitioned lengthwise into three sections to separate carrots, celery and olives.    

You mean like this :)  You can see by the rust how often we use this :)

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So basically this is taking a bunch of raw and pickled vegetables and 

Is this like Mad Libs, where we're supposed to fill in the blank? Serving them might be a good start.

 

So basically, is there anything wrong with the use of a relish tray, to go along with pre dinner cocktails or aperitifs? And don't most cultures enjoy a little snack along with said pre-prandial drinks? 

 

@paryzer - that's a nice one.  I have one or two, but they're glass - one might even be depression glass.

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You have to put this in time and place.    Probably the '30s and '40s, I'd guess.    There were no "snack foods".    Later when I was little, a relish tray always appeared at Thanksgiving and holiday dinners.  

If your folks came through the depression, signs of it stuck around for decades in the way people thought about extravagance.   There was  trend to "make pretty", fussing up everyday food, like cutting carrots and celery into trips.  Opening up a can of olives was exciting.   

 

And mast of those glass relish trays were indeed Depression glass.

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the relish tray died because a plate of carrots, celery, and canned olives just isn't that great.  

That's a minimalist one. But it can certainly made to be wonderful, with good olives, pickles and good produce.

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Okay.    For "note your father's relish tray" we'll add guindilla peppers and home cured olives.    Chili dusted jicama.    "home did" dilly green beans.   

 

Do pickled artichoke hearts require knife and fork or even toothpicks?

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I call them crudités. Standard in modest French restaurants especially outside Paris. Maybe not the pickled, but with an oeuf mayonnaise.

 

San Domenico used to offer this, heavy on the celery some times.

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Looks like relish tray is a wartime rationing thing, while crudites (in English) is from the 60s. 

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In England it was Sunday tea. (Tea was not always a drink.)

 

What was that medallion restaurants in France used to boast to attract traveler. I am really blanking, although it’ obvious. Like a Zagat thing in the window?

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A relish tray would have been really good with the dinner I made myself tonight. 

 

But jeez, Joe, where do you find the time?

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A relish tray would have been really good with the dinner I made myself tonight. 

 

But jeez, Joe, where do you find the time?

While the capon is cooking?

 

Or, prepare a bunch of the veg ahead of time, keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel, all in a Glad/Hefty freezer bag.

 

You'd probably really freak if you knew that I actually de-stringed the celery. 

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