Thursday, 29 October 2009

Spiced Orange Decorations

One thing I like about the Christmas Festivities is the aroma. My favourites are cinnamon and cloves and these smell even better when mixed with orange. Each year I unwrap my dried oranges and place on the mantelpiece, but as these are now approximately five years old I thought it best I made some fresher ones. I always say I will make some more as I get out the decorations each year, but as they take a good few weeks to dry I always forget to prepare them in time. Well this year I have been organised (!) and my new oranges are drying nicely in the airing cupboard. So here are the instructions on how to make yours, be quick now you really should prepare your oranges in October for them to be ready for the festivities!
Only a few days left...
You will need: Oranges, masking tape, cloves and ground cinnamon and for later pretty festive ribbons for hanging your oranges around your home.


Orange segmented into quarters by the masking tape

Using a pin, stilletto - or as I did , as I was to lazy to go upstairs to get either of mine, use a plastic propelling pencil nib! - to make holes to help the cloves pierce the orange skin. Place them as close together as possible. Be gentle with the cloves as you can crush the little buds - note the missing ones on mine!

As with all good displays keep to odd numbers. Here are three completed oranges, I went onto make five.

Liberally dust with ground cinnamon

Wrap in baking parchment to keep the cinnamon around the orange so all the spice's aromas can seep into the orange as it dries

My five oranges are now inside this string bag and have been placed in the airing cupboard not to be disturbed until the beginning of December - believe me it is difficult not to look but the wait is worth it. The oranges will have shrunk slightly and turned a golden brown. The masking tape will be lifting from the orange and if you thought that the space originally made by the tape was too wide this too will be narrower due to the shrinkage. Lightly shake off the excess cinnamon and them decorate by wrapping ribbon in the space left by the tape.

I'll show you mine once they are completed.

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