A favorite Christmas activity, sometime in early December, preferably on a wintry, snowy (in my dreams) kind of day, I love to make dried orange slices for my kitchen Christmas tree.
It’s like a mini-vacation from the hub-bub of the season. A stress-free day to recoup from crazy, hectic schedules.
The aroma from my oven is like Christmas incense, evoking memories of a simpler time.
Of all the trees in our house, and I do love them all, there is something special about my kitchen tree. It’s loaded with all things natural, homemade … whole.
On this rustic, homemade tree, I fasten to the branches dried orange and apple slices studded with cloves and usually tied with raffia. I always make gingerbread men and sometimes gingerbread stars tied with satin or grosgrain ribbon and trim the tree with cranberries. Sometimes I even tie individual cinnamon sticks for extra sensory excitement.
Drying oranges is a simple and rewarding task, perfect for a wrapping day or a Christmas card day … or any stay-at-home day.
Dried Orange Slices
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2 large naval oranges, sliced into 1/4′ slices
handful of whole cloves
Lay slices of oranges on paper towels and blot as much juice from the oranges as possible. Place several clove studs in each orange slice. Place orange slices on baking sheet, not touching, and bake in preheated oven for 4 – 6 hours, turning periodically so that they can dry on both sides.
Thread ribbon, raffia or other medium through slices after they’ve been dried and use as ornaments.