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!
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Join Paula, Bobby and Jamie for a book signing at the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah from 2 to 4 pm. Only 350 tickets will be given out starting 1 hour before the book signing. No cameras permitted; a professional photographer will be on site to take your photo.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!