Monday, 14 December 2009

Dried orange decorations

We are really getting into making our own decorations this year and have made quite a varied bunch. The latest is our Orange dec’s.

To make these you will need:
Several Oranges
Cinnamon Sticks
Crab Apples
Garden Twine or Pretty Strings
Large strong needle or small skewer

Choose large firm oranges. Slice thinly, and arrange on a baking tray trying not to overlap (they stick together otherwise). Set the cooker on the lowest heat and leave to dry out, checking every hour to begin with. The idea is to let them 'cook' long enough to dry out completely, but not to burn. If they do not dry entirely they may not keep for long and go mouldy. If dried properly they can be kept after Yule in an airtight container for months. For the small whole oranges we used a smaller variety and cut slits into the skin through to the flesh and repeated above cooker process. For the apples I used small crab apples from the garden harvest, leaving them whole repeat the above cooker process but you don’t need to do it for quite so long.

When you have sufficiently dried the fruit you then will need a heavy duty needle or small skewer. Starting with the cinnamon tie some sticks together with the twine. In the middle of your orange slice or whole fruit pierce a hole, thread through the twine and tie knots either side. Keep stacking this way until you are happy with the length of your decoration. Loop the top of the twine to make a hanging holder part and then hang on the tree or around your house.

To keep the fragrance you can occasionally top up the smell with some orange oil.

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