I want an orderly and pretty house at Christmas this year. Tastefully displayed vignettes. Artfully designed centerpieces. All with a country feel to it. Is that too much to ask?? I get all of the magazines. I see how beautiful homes can be. My sister's home is no exception. She so tastefully displays her poinsettias. Her stockings, beautifully hung with care. But see, the major difference between me and my sister: I'm a pack rat, she's not. Now don't get me wrong, she still displays Christmas crafts Jozef and Ava have made in school. She's not heartless, just organized. Something I definitely am NOT. But this is my vow! This is my year to shine!!
I found this "recipe" and I'm doing it! I love the look of home-spun country decor. Does that make any sense? And little, by little, I'm getting there. My Christmas decor will be no exception this year. And I can't wait to try this out. I have stockpiled applesauce and cinnamon (the cheap kind you can get for a dollar/bottle) and by mid-November, I will have enough to make a good amount of garland for my tree. And just imagine how delicious my house will smell!
Cinnamon and Apple Garland
1/8 yard each of 7 different fabrics (colors of choice)
Raffia or 3/8-inch ribbon
3 cups lemon juice or white vinegar
12 teaspoons salt
Wire cookie cooling rack
12 tablespoons applesauce
15 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Small cookie cutters of choice (gingerbread men, diamonds,
leaves, stars, hearts, etc. - use cutters to match a holiday)
To dry apples: Pour lemon juice (or mixture of vinegar/water) and salt into bowl, stir. Cut apples into 1/4-inch rings; remove seeds. Place in bowl to soak 15 minutes, turning often.
Remove from bowl and pat dry with paper towels, absorbing as much moisture as possible. Using a double layer of cheesecloth on wire rack, arrange apple slices in single layer. Lay an additional double layer of cheesecloth over top of apples. Place in cold oven; set temperature to 150 degrees F. Bake for 4 to 5 hours or until apples are soft and a pliable (no water visible when squeezed).
Make cinnamon cutouts: Blend 12 tablespoons of applesauce with 15 tablespoons cinnamon; mix. Dough will be stiff. Sprinkle work area with cinnamon. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired designs. Place on cookie sheet. Make a hole in "cookie" with a drinking straw. Bake at 150 degrees F for 3 to 4 hours, until dry.
Tear each fabric piece into 1 x 8-inch strips. Tape a 42-inch piece of jute twine to table; tape opposite end of twine. Beginning 4" from one end of twine, tie on one strip of each fabric. Tie one strand of raffia or ribbon onto the twine. Thread apple slice, cinnamon cutout, and another apple slice onto twine. Add raffia or ribbon and follow the "pattern" until all fabric is used.