Dried Orange Garland

Sustainability

A dried orange garland is the perfect bohemian accessory for your home around the holidays. It is cheap, easy to create and has an interesting history. To keep the story short, before Christianity the Romans would celebrate winter solstice. To decorate they would hang wreaths, garlands and other natural elements to honor their gods. This is where the idea for the Christmas tree came from. So in a sense, the dried orange garland is simply a blast from the past – a little piece of nature in honor of nature. Anyway, this garland is a charming and unique addition that I enjoyed making and hanging in my home. Here’s what you need:

2 navel oranges

A knife

Rope, string or twine of some kind for the actual garland

Scissors

Lint free cloth (basically something that isn’t going to leave fuzzies on your oranges)

Parchment or a silicone baking mat

Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  2. Slice the oranges into 1/4” slices and press with a lint free cloth to dry.
  3. Use your slices and your top to determine how long you want your garland by laying them out as far apart as you want them to be. I made my oranges very close together, almost overlapping one another, but you could also leave space between them as well if you like that look better. Once you have your length determined, cut the rope to size.
  4. Place orange slices on your parchment lined baking sheet (or silicone baking mat) and bake oranges for 1 1/2 hours. Once complete, flip over and bake for additional 1 1/2 hours. After 3 1/2 hours if oranges have started to brown, remove them from the oven and continue baking the rest until they have dried. This took me about 4 hours overall for every slice, but will depend based on varying oven temperatures.
  5. Once all the oranges are dry, thread them onto the rope. You can poke two holes in the oranges about 1/4” apart, or you can do what I did and thread through the center and then through any opening in the fruit. I thought this gave it a more natural look, but both ways work.
  6. Once all slices are on the rope, tie off the ends and hang to enjoy!
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Recipes

Christmas this year was extra special to my little family for a couple of reasons. First, it was basically our one year anniversary in our new house. The previous Christmas we had moved in only a couple days before and so we were only able to accomplish minimal decorations and a small Christmas breakfast. This year was the complete opposite. The house was filled with decorations (actually, still is), a giant tree and the smell of fresh bread and Christmas cookies. I even had time to make a dried orange garland – more on that in another post. Not only was our house filled with Christmas spirit, but our hearts were as well as we were able to host not only my family but my husbands family as well. Christmas Eve was dinner with my in-laws, their other children, their children’s children and a couple other in-laws of the in-laws (phew!) that tagged along. I cooked a big prime rib dinner per my husbands request and let the festivities begin. Since I knew children would be present, I wanted to make a special after-dinner drink for them (and the kids at heart).