Christmas Preparations

The last couple weeks have been busy with Christmas preparations, including a visit from my youngest son, aka the Artist. He and I have been making treats to send to the family in Colorado. One of our family's favorite holiday treats is Candied Orange Peel. This recipe was passed down to us by a dear lady who was an adopted grandmother of mine when I was growing up. Here is the recipe.


Yield: varies

Carefully cut and collect peel from thick-skinned oranges, grapefruit or lemons.
Place collected peel in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Repeat 3 to 5 times to remove bitterness from peel.

Slice cooked peel into ¼” wide strips. Measure peel.

For each cup of cooked peel, prepare a syrup of:
¼ c water
½ c sugar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved. Add cooked peel.
Boil gently until syrup is absorbed and peel is translucent.

In a small bowl place:
1 c granulated sugar
Roll each slice of peel in sugar, and then place it on a cooling rack to dry overnight. When dry, store in a cool dry place.

Roll in powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.
Dip dried candied peel in melted chocolate.

Tips for success:
Score fruit into quarters before removing peel to maintain peel in large pieces for initial boiling.
Stir cooking peel minimally to prevent strips from breaking.

In addition to Holiday baking, we put up my small tree with favorite small ornaments, mostly pinecones, acorns, tiny glass balls and little woodland animals. It sits on my Great Grandmother's treadle sewing machine in front of my favorite Tasha Tudor print. The little gnome lamp was made around 1910 by the same adopted Grandmother that passed along the candied orange peel recipe! The embroiderd cloth with holly leaves is one of two matching doilies I found antiquing.

Crafting Christmas Cards has been another of our preparations. Lots of cutting and pasting! They came out beautifully!


Coasters for Christmas

After putting so much effort into downsizing my belongings and making the commitment to spend less money, I'm not doing much Christmas shopping this year. So far, all the gifts I have for my family are things I've made. I've found it gratifying to put time, effort and love into their gifts. Only a few left to finish up.

Today, I took a break from gift making and instead made some Christmasy coasters for the apartment. I'd seen some lovely ones made from wool felt that Molly Chicken had posted from the Japanese crafing magazine, Cotton Time. Pure wool felt isn't available here but I did find some nice deep heathery green wool and rayon felt with a nice feel to it. I was at a loss for a nice creamy ivory colored felt. Then I spied my needle book with needle pages made of a heavy creamy flannel that I made several years ago. With pinked edges, the pages were still in great shape despite much use, so I thought I'd try using the flannel. Luck was with me as I still had some of the flannel in my fabric stash! A little bit of Ecru pearl cotton embroidery and voila! Christmas coasters that go with my green and white decorating!