HELLO my angel babies! Oh how I have missed you. I swear I really mean to keep up on this blog, but I have found that during the busy season it is almost impossible. Then I need a little time to regroup and get the house in order, and a few weeks for an injury I typically sustain through idiocy. Then I'm good to go! Not that I am complaining, but it's nice to catch up. How have you been? How are the kids? The pets?......just kidding. I can't hear you. That's not how this works.
So if you are like me you are TOO excited for the holidays. Traditions held strong this year. I almost had to be tasered in Christmas Tree Shoppe. My best friend Katy kept making me tell her where I was putting the ever-growing cartload of Christmas to prove I wasn't just hoarding. Joke's on her. I went back without her. I also decorated the day after Thanksgiving. My shopping was done by then anyway. Good shoppers know the real sales are at the end of October. (Shout out to the end of the aisle clearance spots at Target. You complete me.) And my kitchen now looks like Stranger Things.....which I have yet to see because quite honestly I'm still a season and a half behind Walking Dead, 3 seasons behind Supernatural, and Martha and Snoop have a cooking show now. My DVR has been trying to shed weight for over 2 years to no avail. It must be 36, too. ZINGA!
The good news is, tis the season for Ye Old Bingewatching, which ALWAYS goes well with couch crafts. And nothing says I accomplished a ton today like a festive food garland! I actually think next year I am going to only decorate the tree with paper crafts and food garlands. At least that's the plan. I'm sure I'll get 20 minutes in and drag out the tubs of glitter-smattered forest creatures. But in the meantime........
FESTIVE FOOD GARLANDS
We have 3 different garlands in this tutorial and all of the components could/should be purchased at your favorite grocery store/craft store. Unless you have it all on hand, in which case....Hi Martha! I love you.
You will need:
- twine or ribbon- You can get that pretty red and white twine. The way I get it is by eating a lot of boxed local bakery items, but I hear you can buy it at craft stores. I also had ribbon on hand, because honestly, once you buy a roll of ribbon, you are probably going to own it forever.
- a needle and thread- I literally own 2 needles and a handful of bobbin threads. I keep them in a zip baggie. This is the third time I've brought it out. The only thing that gets less action in this house is the iron. Unless it's Perler bead season! 1000 life points for knowing what those are.
- oranges- The more Vitamin C we get in the air the better. Last year I got sick on Christmas and it lasted a full month. NOT this year, BABY! So grab a bag. What we don't craft, we'll juice.
- cranberries- Oh they are SO on sale now. Grab a bag for a craft and a bag for muffins. Then bring me those muffins. Because if you think my crafting is hysterical, you should check out my baking. The cupcake trucks can rest easy. Trust.
- cinnamon sticks- Weird thing to look for but when you grab them, try to find sticks that have unobstructed centers. Some have 2 ends that meet like an old-timey scroll. These are WAY harder to get a needle through. Hindsight 20/20. Eyesight 0/0.
- bagel bites- Ok.....so I saw a blog that did donut holes and I thought.....RIDICULOUS! My friends would just eat those right off of the string! Then I thought, they'd actually prefer pizza, but slices would ALSO be ridiculous. Enter the Bagel Bites!
- the eyesight of youth- I had not thread a needle since my mid-20's. I missed the eye for about 15 attempts before I started hysterically laughing and finally grabbed my glasses. If you already know you are old, then you can skip this step.
- a glass of wine- If we actually catch up on Walking Dead....I hear we will need it. But if they kill my Carol........I'm going to need tequila. She's just the best, isn't she?!
Cinnamon sticks and cranberries! By FAR the most successful garland! Once you thread the needle, that is. All you need to do is to alternate pushing the needle and thread through a cinnamon stick and a cranberry. BONUS....few things have brought me more satisfaction than piercing a cranberry with a needle. Possibly the weirdest thing I've divulged, but try it and tell me it's not like popping-bubble-wrap satisfying! Make sure you choose a large, thick needle to be able to get through it. The cinnamon should be a snap, unless you got the scroll-like ones. Then a simple....tap-a-tap-a-tap-a......on the TV table......and that needle should slide through to the other side. Don't spill the wine! We JUST got that area rug.
Hang your festive potpourri and admire how it looks EXACTLY like the picture........for ONCE.
Did you ever notice how un-uniform fruit is? Oh-ho-ho! Well, you will! Don't for a second think this is a craft to use up old fruit. That is what your juicer is for! (NOT getting sick this year, guys. Not happening.) Don't go buy from the "Not The Best, But Still A Good Bargain!" section in the produce department. Choose wisely, because you are going to slice and dry them. Make sure they are perfectly orange. Make sure they are perfectly firm and round. Make sure that the centers don't have any weird holes or too many big ugly seeds. How? Oh I have no idea. I guess play the odds and buy 16 bags of oranges. I didn't but look at this mess. What a waste of ribbon. And I have a TON of ribbon.
The good news is all we are doing is slicing them and putting them on a sheet pan. At least the fail is almost effortless. It stings less that way. Pop them in a 250 degree oven and bake until they are dry and then slide a ribbon through the centers of the oranges. Take care to not poke too large of a hole in the center. It makes them all fall to the center, making the ribbon all sticky and pulp covered. Then you can keep arranging them, but every time you LOOK at the garland, they will slide back to the center. They also offer the faint whiff of garbage, which is always a cozy aroma.
Just get the photo and throw it out.
First of all......thanks for my Bagel Bite lunch. Best idea I've had in a while. Second of all......This one is more for a party but it is a snap. Pop your needle and thread through the top of the bagel bite after you've cooked it according to the directions on the package. Obviously wait for it to cool. And since we are pointing out the obvious, I'll have you wash your hands, too. Hang this garland at mouth level once your guests have arrived. You know, come to think of it, floss may be a better choice. Kind of a 2 for 1 deal for them.
This could work for an array of food. If you want to class it up with shrimp cocktail, go for it! But make sure you leave tails off.
Alright! One of those is definitely looking super cute on my built-in cabinet right now. One of those is definitely helping out our compost pile. And the last little garland has a new home in my belly. We caught up on half a season's worth of how absolutely horrible people are to each other during a zombie outbreak, all while basking in the tree's "warm glowing warming glow". If I were to grade this experience like I grade Christmas lights.......which I TOTALLY do......I'd say that even though most of them looked like a hot mess, there was a lot of them, so.....I get an A!