Capture the whole house aroma of an apple pie baking in the oven by draping dried apple ring garlands on your mantel or banister. They will add beauty and fragrance to your Christmas, and this is one craft you will enjoy munching while you string it.
Firm, tart apples, as freshly picked as possible, are best for drying; good varieties to try are Jonathan and Rome Beauty. But no matter what apples you use, make sure they are not mealy or bruised.
You’ll first need to soak the apple slices in lemon juice or a solution of ascorbic acid (such as Fruit Fresh) and water to prevent them from discoloring as they are dried. You can add to their fragrance by sprinkling the slices with sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or mixtures of allspice and apple pie spice, but if you want your decoration perfectly white, leave the spices off.
For color, mix in lemon, grape, or magnolia leaves with the apples. Tie a pretty bow at each end of the garland, which will hide the string ends that you use to attach it; decorate the bows with jewels or crystal beads for festive sparkle.
To make the dried apple rings, peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Soak the slices in a bowl of lemon juice or ascorbic acid and water solution for 6 to 10 minutes, making sure the slices are submerged. Remove the slices from the solution, and pat them dry with paper towels. Dust both sides of the apples with spices, if you are using them.
Place the apple slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 150 to 200 degrees F. for 6 hours or until they are completely dried. They should be slightly pliable.
To make the apple garland, cut a piece of jute into a length about a foot longer than you need it; you can trim it after the garland is made. It is better to string several shorter lengths than one very long one. Cut holes in the leaves to string them, if using. Thread the apple slices and leaves on the garland, and tie a decorative bow at each end. Paula loves to add a vintage broach to each end for a little holiday sparkle!
Don’t want to decorate with your apples? How about just eating them!
Cousin Johnnie’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Uncle Bob’s Fresh Apple Cake
Outrageous Caramel Apples
Apple and Grilled Chicken Pizza
Apple Raisin Muffins
Caramelized Pork Loin
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm