The most lovely scent of the holidays (competing with our fir tree) is that of sliced oranges dehydrating for several hours, their warm citrus scent wafting from room to room. Whether you string the fruit as a festive dried orange garland or feature the golden discs in a seasonal drink, the magic of Yuletide is, in its sweet way, forever preserved.
Natural creations such as this holly wreath add to the magic of the Yuletide season. My handmade holly wreath and holiday chocolate leaves (using imprints found from your garden) enhance the whimsy of the season.
- 5-6 oranges (yields 35-40 slices)
To make the garland:
- Thin white ribbon or twine
- Battery-operated gold LED fairy lights (optional)
- Stacked Food Dehydrator (such as Nesco)
- Kitchen ice pick (ideal for poking holes in the dehydrated oranges)
Slice the oranges as thinly as possible while keeping the rind and skin intact.
Spread the slices across the stackable dehydrator sheets, allowing space between each slice.
Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees (the typical fruit setting for fruits and vegetables). Allow the slices to dry for approximately 7 hours, flipping the oranges occasionally and rearranging the stacks in the dehydrator for optimal air flow (the lower stacks will dry more quickly than the higher stacks).
Store the dried slices in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
To make the dried orange garland:
Once the slices have fully dried, use an ice pick to poke two holes close to the top of each dried slice (directly below the rind) approximately one inch apart.
Using a long workspace such as a table, arrange the poked slices across the table in a row, which will allow you to estimate the amount of ribbon or twine needed for your garland. When cutting, be sure to allow for extra ribbon on either side for hanging purposes.
Work with one slice at a time, threading the ribbon into the first hole, then the second to secure the slice. Move the first slice to the very center of the cut ribbon. From there you can work your way out from the center, adding orange slices on either side of the first, leaving a small amount of space between each slice.
Hang the garland in your desired location, wrapping battery-operated fairy lights around the garland to add to the magic.