How To Make a Dried Fruit Christmas Garland
A Christmas garland sets the tone in decorating your home this Christmas time. It’s a perfect complement for your Christmas tree and other ornaments. It gives out the feeling of warmth and happiness even during the cold winter days.
The use of Christmas garland dates back 18th century where early settlers to what would become the US have brought the tradition of making Christmas garland as an extra income during winter. They will take the branches of firs, pines, or spruces and twist them until it becomes shapeable and flexible. They will then sell them to neighbors and nearby villages bringing them a little income during lean months. It also symbolizes the idea of perseverance through the winter.
Making a dried fruit Christmas garland involves two steps. The initial step is the drying of fruits in an oven. The next step is the construction of the garland itself. When you are set and ready to make your dried fruit Christmas garland, begin by choosing your preferred fruits to use it could be apples, oranges, pears, lemons or a combination of all. Note that the juicier the fruits are the longer it will take them to dry. It is also good if you could dry the fruits a day or two ahead before making the garland.
Here are the steps on drying the fruits and some helpful tips.
1. Pre-heat oven on the lowest temperature 100 deg. C/ 200 deg. F. Using a dehydrator can cause the fruits to curl up which is not what we want to achieve. It should be flat and round which can be sewed easily when you make your garland.
2. Thinly slice the fruits in 1/8” each without removing the peel and the seeds. Place the cut fruits in a paper towel and carefully pat as much juice a possible. One trick for fruits to preserve its natural color and prevents it from browning during the drying process is to soak them in lemon juice and then pat all excess juices with a kitchen towel.
3. Place the fruit slices in a baking sheet and pop it in the oven to dry. The time will vary depends on how thick and juicy the fruits are but it will take 3-4 hours on average. You don’t want to rush the drying as it will burn the fruits so check on them every hour and turn the fruits halfway the drying process to avoid sticking until it completely dry up. You know when it is already dry when it becomes firm but not hard and has a leathery look on it. If at one point they come out from the oven still a bit wet, you can return it to the oven to dry for another hour.
Once that you have dried the fruits, it is now time to make your very own Christmas garland! Don’t forget to add up your favorite spices for added scent and charm on your garland. To start, you will need the following: Strong thread, twine or thin string, scissors, a thick sewing needle, ribbons or any embellishments and of course your dried fruits and spices. When you’re set and ready, here’s the step by step instruction to make a Christmas garland.
How to make Christmas garland
1. Measure first the length where you will hang your Christmas garland may it be in your window, in the fireplace, in your door or in your Christmas tree and cut the tread. Make sure that you put an extra length for the loop.
2. With a large needle, start threading the dried fruit slices. Add the cinnamon stick or rosemary twigs by tying them together with the dried fruits or you can carefully drill a hole in the center of the cinnamon. Don’t thread the fruits too tightly just leave some room for air to circulate.
3. Tie a loop at the end of the thread. Add ribbons or any ornaments that will brighten up your Christmas garland and it is ready to be hung.
Once the holidays are over, you can store your dried fruits in paper bags instead of the plastic box and keep it in a dry place to prevent it from having moisture and molds.
Enjoy your dried fruit Christmas garland as it lightens up and freshens your home with a delightful smell!