Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orange Garland

This orange garland is the best thing since sliced fruit.

And it's so easy.

And colorful.

And festive.

And beauty full.

I found a big bag of seedless oranges for $2.50.

I sliced the ends off, then sliced them into 1/4 inch slices. You want to do your best to keep the widths consistent, so they bake evenly.

After slicing, place them on a dishtowel, which helps to blot off excess juice.

I would advise against placing them on a white towel, unless you are hankering for an orange/white tie-dyed effect. Who knew OJ stains??

When they're all sliced up, lay them on a metal baking sheet and put them in the oven, on its lowest setting. (Mine was 175 degrees.)*

Here's where the...discrepancy comes in.

The guide I worked from stated that it would take "about four hours" to dry them out.

I think mine took 7 and a half hours, causing me much consternation and angst.

The trick is to make sure that they dry entirely, so they don't get moldy.

When I removed mine, the bottom pan was over-cooked and too brown looking. I shed a tear and tossed that batch.

The top pan was lovely.

They still seemed kind of soft - a little like the texture of a gummy candy. They were pliable, but not at all juicy.

After they were completely cooled, I put them in a pile and forgot about them for the next few days.

Then I remembered them again and took a wooden shishkabob skewer to them, poking two holes in each one (see photo). Try to space the holes evenly.

I then threaded my lovely $0.10 seam binding tape through them, making sure, in typical OCD fashion, that the "ribbon" was smooth all the way through.

After that, I strung them up.

(The original idea in the book was to just poke a single hole and hang each one as a Christmas tree ornament, which would also be pretty.)

The book says that they will "retain their delicious citrus fragrance", but that is a lie.

However, they smell quite lovely while they are cooking and they look gorgeous when they catch the light.

And they are cheap. Especially if you conveniently forget to factor in the EIGHT hours that your oven is on.


*I think it would also work to use a dehydrator, although you would want to keep a close eye on them and make sure that they didn't dry out too much.