The humble relish tray: what's in yours?

Let’s see.
[li]celery[/li][li]carrot[/li][li]broccoli (raw)[/li][li]grape tomatoes[/li][li]dip of some sort[/li][/ul]

[li]peperonchini[/li][li]roasted red pepper strips[/li][li]cucumber in red-wine vinegar, sugar and salt [/li][li]pickled asparagus[/li][li]gherkins[/li][li]zuni cafe pickled zucchini - a must have[/li][li]pickled onions[/li][/ul]

[li]olives[/li][li]deviled eggs[/li][li]coctail shrimp[/li][li]cheese ball[/li][li]that big breadbowl hollowed out and filled with spinach dip thingy[/li][/ul]

I don’t think we’ve ever had something referred to as a relish tray. As far as I know, no one in my family (including extended) eats pickles or olives (I may have seen a jar in grandma’s fridge, so I guess that’s means someone eats them).

I guess it’s like appetizers? At home for holidays we usually have some celery with peanut butter and maybe baby carrots, but that’s put on the table with everything else and just called the veggie plate. With the extended family I can’t think of anything, unless you count the plate of deviled eggs or the salad fixings.

Jicama shoots, sweet gherkins, radishes, carrots, celery and shrimp. I love shrimp.

Moved from IMHO to Cafe Society.

We love olives–a couple of us do, anyway–so we go to a local olive and get weird olives (my favorite is lavendar rose petal), pickles if we have them, cheese cubes, whatever else I might find in the fridge. We do love our munchies.

sweet pickles
deviled eggs
jellied cranberry sauce
celery and pimento cheese

At Grandma’s house it’s usually dill pickles, sweet pickles, pickled beets, pickled carrots, pickled onions and olives. Whatever Grandma made that summer also makes an appearance, Polish dills are a favourite.

Mine, if we had guests would likely be similar, minus olives but with mustard pickles.

I picked “something else” for jalapeno peppers halved and filled with cream cheese and sesame seeds. Technically a veggie but doesn’t fit in really. Other than that it is 3 types of olives, little sweet pickles, and “hot mix” pickled vegetables.

The ideal relish tray:

Dill pickles
Sweet pickles–gherkins or chunks, no b&b
Black and green olives
Carrot sticks
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Stuffed celery

That last item sends me down Memory Lane. If I stuff celery, it will be with cream cheese. My mother grated cheddar cheese and mixed it with mayo. I don’t know if she put anything else into the mix. As a little kid I hated it, but as I grew up, i began to like it. I haven’t had that type of stuffed celery since she died.

Dip would have to be Chile con Queso, made the easy way with Velveeta. You can completely forgo the relish tray if you’ve got the dip and chips.

Deviled eggs are a separate dish unto themselves. Don’t use fresh eggs, though, or you’ll be REALLY sorry.

Ours is a bit of a dog’s breakfast, because everybody brings something different with no attempt at coordination. Half the group hates olives, so we don’t bring many of those. But there will be several kinds of pickles, gardinera, dozens of cheeses and crackers, dips galore and the odd carrot.

You might try some Price’s (no other brand will do) Pimiento Cheese. Just a dab, though, or else it will overpower the celery (or crackers). In fact, a bowl of PPC might be a nice addition to the relish tray.

Usually for us it’s a selection of olives and various pickled fruits and veggies, raw cut vegetables, and pimiento cheese as a dip. The devilled egg tray is a whole 'nother animal, but only because the cut glass relish tray doesn’t have spaces for the eggs, which must properly be served on the milk glass with gold rim egg tray. Both serve as appetizers, though. Mainly because anyone trespassing in the kitchen to steal little pre-prandial bites will be maimed… or worse.

It might depend on where you’re from but I always understood “relish tray” to mean raw veggies with dip, usually in a circular compartmentalized tray with a dip dish in the middle.

Mine would usually include:
Carrot & celery sticks
Raw broccoli and cauliflower
Grape or cherry tomatoes (if I’m splurging)
Red and green pepper strips
and in one instance raw snap peas, which didn’t go over too well.

I serve with ranch dip, but I think I’ve also seen onion dip on occasion.

As for olives, it never occurred to me to serve them until a friend/co-worker inexplicably gave me an olive dish so I’ll serve them separately in that.

The olive dish should be placed next to the toilet.

HA! I’m fancy and you know it. (wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle.)

Relish tray?? What manner of sorcery is this?

We haven’t had the big family Thanksgiving in many years. The grandparents died, and the cousins, me included, all grew up and moved away, and now have families of their own. We go over to my husband’s parents’ place, and they have their own food traditions. So I had completely forgotten about relish trays. But when I saw this thread, I told my husband that tomorrow we will be bringing a good old-fashioned relish tray, which is composed of three things:

And specifically, the gherkins are the teeny-tiny sweet ones, the green olives are the mushy little pimiento-stuffed ones in a jar, and the black olives are the nasty kind from a can, that are basically just salt-flavored. This is no time for kalamatas or garlic half-sours. I could *maybe *accept pickled pearl onions as well, but that’s pushing it.

Of course, we also had the veggie platter (or crudités - let’s not start that again), which is where you’d find the carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and ranch dip. Then there was the cheese and crackers, and the deviled eggs, and maybe a fruit tray, although we tended to leave sweet stuff for after the meal. All of this was on a side table for noshing before the main event. And we’d munch away while chatting, singing songs, playing games, watching football, and helping out in the kitchen.
Oh, man. I really miss my family.

Me too! To this day I have to fight the urge to put olives on my fingertips whenever they’re served. If I knew how to create a poll I’d start a thread and see how many others do this.

My mother-in-law does this. I find it hilarious.