Hope you had an enjoyable Turkey Day and gave many thanks for all of the blessings in your lives.
#1 – Decorating With . . .
Dried apple slices and cinnamon sticks add a homey and fragrant touch to holiday wreaths, garlands, and potpourri, but how about decorating presents with them? Use brown postal wrapping paper (or reuse plain sides of grocery bags) or brown lunch bags to hold your gifts. Tie off packages with any coarse natural fiber twine such as raffia, jute or hemp, and add the finishing touches of dried apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
Here’s a recipe for dried apple slices from the Gooseberry Patch – Coming Home for Christmas Cookbook:
2 teaspoons salt
6 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons arrow root powder
Soak apples in juice for five minutes, then pat dry. Place remaining ingredients in a large plastic storage bag. Add apple slices and shake to coat. Dry apples in a 150 to 200 degree oven for 6 hours. Remove from oven and lay on wax paper and turn daily until dry.
Fresh apples can be used as decorations too:
*Fill large bowls, vases, or hurricane lamps with apples. One vase could contain only red apples, another only green apples or you could have several containers with red and green mixed together. Fresh greens and berries can be tucked in for a festive look.
*Hollowed-out apples can be used to hold dips and spreads or hold votive candles.
* Apples can be added to floral arrangements or wreaths by wiring them or by staking them.
#2 – Meat Tip From Bob the Market Man
Always scrape or rinse and pat dry any cut of meat that has gone through the meat saw. This includes pork chops, T-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, and chuck steaks. Scraping, rinsing, or wiping removes any bone dust or fragments that may have adhered to the raw meat.
#3 – Aretha Franklin Sings “Chain, Chain, Chain . . . “
The trend now is to wear multiple chains or necklaces. Layer short and long necklaces together or combine a few longer necklaces for a stylish look. The multiple chain look can be worn with casual attire, such as jeans and a simple blouse, or depending on the design and quality of the necklaces with dressier attire. Bottom line – don’t pile on so many that you’ll fall over!
#4 – Dental Floss Is Not Just for Teeth!
I always keep a container of dental floss in my kitchen drawer. It has a myriad of uses. Because it is thin, yet strong, I use it to truss chicken or turkey. Waxed floss works great for cutting out different types of dough, such as dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, or refrigerator cookies. Refrigerate dough to make it firm, place floss underneath the roll of dough, and cross the left side to the right and the right to the left. Pull floss tightly to cut evenly through dough. This crisscross technique can also be used to cut soft cheese or to loosen stubborn baked cookies or biscuits off baking sheets. Hang pictures with it instead of wire, which can scrape wall paint. Dental floss can come to the rescue many times over when you travel. Use it for quick fixes for broken zipper pulls, luggage tags, bracelets and necklaces, and shoe laces. Sew a button back on with floss, but be sure to pack a needle with a large eye in your travel gear. This holiday season string your cranberries, popcorn, or gumdrops on dental floss. Mint dental floss works great to tie fresh or artificial greens together!
#5 – Thought for Today
For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.
Clarence E. Hodges
Time to start your Christmas shopping – only three weeks left!