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From: VSAUER@delphi.com Virginia B. Sauer
Organization: Delphi Internet Services Corporation


DRIED FRUIT GARLANDS

The garland directions appear to have been omitted from my
earlier post. They are therefore repeated below. To ensure
that the information is presented in its entirety, directions
for drying fruits and making applesauce/cinnamon hearts are also
encluded at the end of the post.

I hope that this proves helpful!

Regards,
Virginia


DRIED FRUIT GARLANDS


These wonderfully fragrant garlands can be made in virtually any
length desired, depending upon their intended purpose. They can
be made to adorn entryways, windows, trees, fireplace mantels,
et cetera. Likewise, they can be displayed either as a long
string, or with various loops (UUU).


MATERIALS NEEDED:

Apple slices
Orange slices
Lemon slices
Fresh cranberries
Cinnamon/applesauce dough or red wooden hearts (optional)
Heavy gauge florist wire
Whole bay leaves (usually at least 1/4 - 1/2 pound)
Few drops cinnamon or cranberry oil, preferably essential oil
(optional fixative to retain the scent)
Strawflowers (red, white, et cetera)
Yarrow or baby's breath
Ribbon (e. g., 1/4-inch burgundy and mauve satin or silk
ribbon, or red raffia)


PROCEDURE:

-- Dry fruits as directed below.

-- If using cinnamon/applesauce dough hearts, make as directed
below. The number of hearts will depend upon the desired
length of the swag ... For a short swag (e. g., to decorate a
window), you will usually want two hearts about the same size
as the apple slices, and one slightly larger heart for the
center. Insert cut-off paper clips or twisted wire at top
for hanging. If desired, add message (such as warm greeting
or the recipients' names) with either embossing or by dipping
toothpick into white paint and using to write message on
heart(s).

-- Cut heavy gauge florist wire to desired length, depending
upon intended purpose - e. g., whether the garland is to
adorn entryways, windows, trees, fireplace mantels, or
whatever.

-- If you will be using cinnamon/applesauce or wooden hearts,
decide where they will be placed ... For example, if you want
a large heart in the center, and a smaller heart between the
center and each end, the fruits and bay leaves will be
divided into four equal parts.

-- If you are going to use the hearts, work with only one
portion of the dried fruits / bay leaves at a time.

-- String together the fruits and bay leaves "poker chip style",
alternating dried fruits with bay leaves (e. g., 10 fruit
slices, one cinnamon stick, 8 bay leaves, 10 more fruit
slices, one cinnamon stick, 8 more bay leaves, et cetera),
beginning and ending with fruit slices.

-- If you are going to use the hearts, add one of the smaller
hearts. Proceed with the second portion of alternated dried
fruits and bay leaves. Add the larger heart. Proceed with
the third portion of alternated dried fruits and bay leaves.
Add the second smaller heart. Add the remaining alternated
dried fruits and bay leaves.

-- Tie a ribbon or raffia bow at each end (e. g., one or two
strands of mauve and one or two of burgundy satin or silk
ribbon, or a red raffia bow), leaving long streamers beneath.

-- Allowing for the limitations of straight Ascii characters,
your garland will look approximately like this:

@/////*/////$/////*/////@
| | | | | | | | |_ ribbon or raffia bow
| | | | | | | |____ assorted dried fruits / bay leaves
| | | | | | |_______ small applesauce/cinnamon heart
| | | | | |__________ assorted dried fruits / bay leaves
| | | | |_____________ medium applesauce/cinnamon heart
| | | |________________ assorted dried fruits / bay leaves
| | |___________________ small applesauce/cinnamon heart
| |______________________ assorted dried fruits / bay leaves
|_________________________ ribbon or raffia bow

-- If desired, if you are using satin ribbon, tie a few bows
intermittently throughought the garland (e. g. between every
group of dried fruits, or whatever).

-- If desired, glue strawflowers and yarrow or baby's breath
over various areas of the garland for added decorative
effect:

* * * * * * *
* * *

-- Display as desired, depending upon the length selected
(e. g., to decorate windows, entryways, mantels, or whatever.


****************************************************************


CINNAMON APPLESAUCE DOUGH

MATERIALS NEEDED:
3/4 cup smooth applesauce (good brand - not watery)
1 cup ground cinnamon (you may need slightly extra)
2 tablespoons white craft glue (such as Elmer's) *
Few drops cinnamon oil, preferably essential oil
(optional fixative to retain the scent)
Paper clip or plastic drinking straw
Desired cookie cutters and trims (see below for ideas)

* The inclusion of glue both acts as a preservative and
provides a smoother finish.

PROCEDURE:

-- Put applesauce, cinnamon, glue, and cinnamon oil into
mixing bowl. Mix until smooth, firm, pliable, and no longer
sticky. (If still too wet, add a little more cinnamon.)

-- Shape dough as desired:

- If you are using cookie cutters: Roll out dough 1/4-inch
thick and cut with cookie cutters (e. g., gingerbread men
or hearts). Transfer cut shapes to cookie sheet or jelly
roll pan as you would cut-out dough for cookies.
- If you are using cookie molds, dust them with ground
cinnamon, and firmly press small balls of dough into the
mold until it is firmly packed with dough. Firmly tap the
mold against a cutting board, then slip shaped dough out of
mold and transfer to cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

- If you are shaping by hand, either mold as desired, or roll
dough into logs of equal diameter and braid together for
miniature wreaths, et cetera.

-- Either cut paper clip in half horizontally and poke two ends
into top of dough to make hanger, or poke plastic drinking
straw through top to make hole for hanging,

-- Add any trims desired before baking ... e. g., insert cloves
for gingerbread characters' eyes, or poke plastic straw
through edges of heart shape so that ribbon can be threaded
through it after baking.

-- The ornaments can either be baked in the oven or air dried.
(Although many people feel that the latter gives a smoother
finish, it will take several days.)

- If air-drying without baking at all, transfer cookies to
brown paper bags and set aside for several days, turning at
least twice each day.

- If baking in the oven, preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Bake for 1/2 hour, turn over, and bake 1/2 hour longer.
Transfer cookies to brown paper bag and set aside overnight
to finish drying.

-- Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling completely.
Set aside until hard and dry.

-- Decorate as desired (e. g., by threading ribbons through
holes, looping ribbons at the top, gluing on small dried
flowers, and/or painting on greetings or messages. For
example, applesauce ornaments make lovely heart-shaped
"tags", bearing the recipients' names, a warm greeting, or
whatever. These can either be used as ornaments, pomanders,
or as decorations on wreaths.


N. B. If the scent begins to fade after a period of time, you
can either gently rub the back with sandpaper or add a
drop or so of cinnamon oil.


****************************************************************


=== DRYING APPLE SLICES FOR GARLANDS, WREATHS ET CETERA ===
(These directions are based on those of Harriet
Pecorari, who makes gorgeous dried fruit wreaths)


MATERIALS NEEDED:

2 cups of lemon juice (reconstituted / natural strength from
concentrate, such as ReaLemon, is fine)
1 tablespoon salt
Firm red apples (e. g., Red Delicious or Rome)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons orris root powder *
1 spray can high gloss clear Polyurethane varnish


* This acts as a preservative and helps prevent molding. It
can be purchased at many craft shops, or ordered by mail
from such potpourri suppliers as:
San Francisco Herb Company
250 14th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 861-7174

(I have no affiliation with this company other than that
of a satisfied customer.)



PROCEDURE:


-- If you have a dehydrator, it will be ideal for this project.
Otherwise, preheat a conventional oven to 160 degrees F.
(Since oven temperatures vary, you may subsequently find that
you prefer 125 or 200 degrees F. However, once you have
dried a batch of apples, you will know the texture you're
striving for and find it easy to attain in the future.)


-- Pour lemon juice and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix
well.


-- Decide whether to cut the apples into round or heart-shaped
slices. (You will get more slices from each apple if cutting
round shapes. This is therefore usually preferable for
garlands.)

- For round slices: Slice the apples horizontally
(from side to side) as uniformly
as possible into slices 1/4 inch
thick. (Although not essential,
a food or meat slicer will
simplify slicing.) As you cut
each slice, place it into the
lemon-salt mixture.

- For heart-shaped slices: Cut the apples vertically (from
top to bottom) as uniformly as
possible into slices 1/4 inch
thick. (Although not essential,
a food or meat slicer will
simplify slicing.) As you cut
each slice, place it into the
lemon-salt mixture.

(Small slices, too small for the garlands, can be used for
other purposes, such as mini garlands, tiny wreaths, et
cetera.)


-- Put a plate on top of the bowl and place a medium-sized can
over the plate to weight it down just enough to ensure that
each slice of apple is covered by the liquid.


-- Let apple slices soak for 3 minutes.


-- Remove can and plate and turn over apple slices. Replace can
and plate and soak 3 minutes longer.


-- Stand cake rack(s) over several thicknesses of paper towels
or other absorbent material. (If you do not have enough cake
racks to hold all of the apples, omit this step instead
transfer the apples directly to paper towels. Use additional
paper towels to pat each side to remove excess liquid.


-- Remove apple slices from bowl and transfer to cake rack(s),
arranging in single layer so that slices do not overlap.


-- Pour cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and orrisroot into a small
bowl; mix well.


-- Pour the spices into a small strainer and sprinkle half of
them lightly but evenly over the sliced apples, making sure
that each apple is lightly dusted with the spices.


-- Turn apple slices over and lightly dust the other sides with
the spice mixture.


N. B. It will take approximately 5 hours for the apple slices
to bake. The exact time will depend upon the size and
thickness of the apple slices.


-- If not using cake racks, arrange apple slices in a single
layer on a cookie sheet.


-- Place in 160 degree oven.


-- If using a gas oven, prop the door open about 6 inches ... If
using an electric oven, place a wooden spoon between oven and
door to ensure that door is left ajar to allow moisture to
escape.


-- Leave apples in oven for 2 1/2 hours, checking periodically
(and leaving the oven door ajar each time it has been
opened).


-- Turn each apple slice over.


-- Again leave the oven door ajar to allow moisture to escape.


-- Leave apples in oven for another 2 1/2 hours, checking
periodically (and leaving the door ajar each time it has been
opened).


-- At the end of the baking time, check the apple slices: they
will not be bone-dry, and should still be sufficiently
pliable to bend without breaking. If they are too wet,
return them to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, and check again.


-- Remove the apple slices from the oven and aside to cool.


-- Spray with clear high gloss Polyurethane varnish. Set aside
to dry.


-- Turn apple slices over and spray the other side with clear
high gloss Polyurethane varnish. Set aside to dry.


-- Repeat this process, giving each side of each apple at least
four coats of varnish (more, if you live in a humid climate).



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