Monday, December 19, 2011

The Kitchen Tree (and a project!)

So last year, we did some rearranging of rooms right before Christmas. (We switched Nathanael's room with the office and moved all our homeschool books, etc. to the new office/homeschool room instead of the kitchen, where we had been doing homeschool.)

For some reason, we decided to move our dining room table to the "homeschool area space" that had remained furnitureless for  2 years, leaving the former breakfast nook empty.  We dubbed the space the sunroom, because three walls of it have windows or faux french doors. (You can see this space in the picture below.)

I decided that it would look lovely to have a tree in the sunroom.  And it did look lovely.  I had big plans for the tree's decor...sliced & dried oranges, lemons, limes, starfruit. Garlands of cranberries and popcorn. 

Let's just say the tree only got lights. So this year, I promised Brent that I'd decorate it.  

So this year's Kitchen Tree:

The kid's made paper plate angels in Sunday School...Hadleigh's is on top of the tree.  Nathanael didn't want his on the tree...

And on December 8, we made Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments...because they're fun and they smell sooooooo good.

Can't you tell it's fun work?  (They were so excited to use their rolling pins from they received from their Kammy and Pappy!)

We added Martha Stewart's Brownstone fine glitter to add a bit of sparkle.  And we used a straw to cut the holes to tie string through.  (Thanks to Aunt Katy & Uncle Alex, we had quite a choice of Christmas cookie cutters!)

Before they went into the oven...

And then after...the edges of some of the ornaments warped a little...but I think it's a nice effect!

There's still some time to make these and give as gifts for Christmas...and they will last for years!  A friend once made us a garland using gingerbread men!  I found that the more streamlined the cookie cutter, the better...sadly, our gingerbread men and snowflakes had a tendency to lose appendages!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

3 cups applesauce
3 cups ground cinnamon
1 oz. Elmers glue (I used one of those small 1.25 oz bottles)

1.  Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, adding more cinnamon to make the dough more firm if necessary.  Place on wax paper and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.  If the dough is rolled too thin, the ornaments will break easily.

2.  Cut the dough with desired cookie cutters, remembering to cut a hole for threading.  I find that a straw works well, as the straw contains the removed portion and is a perfect size!

3. Carefully transfer ornaments to a cookie sheet.  I lined mine with parchment, which helps them not to stick, though the parchment warps a bit and caused the warping of some ornaments.  Bake at 150 degrees for one hour.  Then flip ornaments and cook an additional hour.  At this point, you can either 1) continue to bake them at a low temperature, elevating them on a drying rack so that both sides dry evenly or 2) remove them to finish drying on a counter, flipping every 8-12 hours (for about 2 days or until'll notice that the side facing down will appear darker than the other until it's completely dry.)  

4. When completely dry, use a butter knife to carefully smooth any rough spots along the edge of the ornaments.  Thread the whole with ribbon or twine to secure to your tree!



Allison Waken said...

LOVE those ornaments! And your tree is so pretty :)

theelfqueen said...

ADORABLE tree and good for you and the kiddos for making such lovely ornaments!


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