IT'S MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR!

Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. I have many memories of the great Holiday times with my family and friends on this day of the year from early childhood. Growing up my mom always decorated the house and tree so pretty & we always had a great time and wonderful foods. I have always tried to keep Christmas with a lot of traditions of my own for my children. The first thing I done was to make sure my children realized the true reason for Christmas which for us is the day of birth of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. I always put the focus on this and we also enjoyed making many types of traditional foods to celebrate. There is no way I could count the many cookies we have made and decorated, pies & cakes baked, hams and turkeys served or cans of cranberry sauce or relish on the table. I love seeing the decorated trees of freinds & family. I honestly don't think I have ever seen an ugly Christmas tree, no matter the decor or how lopsided , skinny, short or fat a tree is, and Lord knows I have had a few Charlie Brown trees myself. At the time they seemed ok but then looking back at photos I honestly have had a few good laughs at some my trees. My daughter and I used to string popcorn and cranberries to put on the tree along with hand made salt dough ornaments. I remember her wanting to have a hand in everything I cooked or baked, so I would get a kitchen chair and pull it over to the counter where she could watch & help. One of our favorite things to make was candied orange peels. We would save the peel from oranges & tangerines, boil them in a syrup and then roll in sugar. They are so good and taste like old fashioned orange slice candy. I hope that you enjoy some of the photos below that I have found online and some of my own. I hope that you find encouragement to get into the Holiday Season even if this season is a bit different. Remember that no matter how you celebrate your Christmas it is family & making memories that is most important. If you would like to have your own favorite Christmas photo posted to my page please send it to my email address and I will be glad to share it to my page. If you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share them please send it also. Please remember to give your name and where you are from. I think this will be a lot of fun. rhondaoneal968@yahoo.com

CANDIED ORANGE PEEL


INGREDIENTS:

4 oranges
2 Tablespoon orange juice
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preparation:
Rinse the oranges. Slice the oranges into 4 quarters and remove the orange peel. Also, scrape out the white pith or part of the peel (use a peeler for this). White Pith is the part of the orange that’s white, stringy, and spongy. It is found between the peel and the fruity pulp.

Once the white part is removed, slice the orange peel into 1/4 inch strips. Not too thin and just enough thickness so it doesn’t mashed up when cooked.

Cooking:
In a large pot, soak the peels with enough cold water to cover the orange peels. (Optional:you may soak it overnight to make sure it will release all the bitter taste, drain and add a new cold water again after).

After soaking in cold water, bring it to a boil. Over high heat let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, transfer in a colander to drain and wash in cold water. Do this process 2x more (Soak, Boil and wash). This process will reduce the bitter taste of the peel.

To make the Syrup:
In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of water,  stir in 4 cups sugar. Then, add in orange juice and the orange peels. Bring it to boil, simmer over low heat and cook until the orange peels become translucent, and the syrup starts to thicken. To test the thickness, drop some of the hot syrup in cold water and if it forms a soft thread. It’s done.As much as possible, prevent from stirring too much, swirl off the pan instead. Turn off heat and drain remaining syrup. Transfer each peel separately on a wire rack and let it dry for 8 hours or longer.

SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS

cups flour

1 cup salt

Up to one cup of water. 

Mix all ingredients and stir until you form a stiff dough. Make into shapes, or roll out and cut with a cookie cutter. Dry on a cookie sheet at 200 degrees until completely dry. You will want to make a small hole at the top or your ornament before baking so you can put a string or ribbon through it to hang on your tree or wreath. 

  • Christmas goodies that I make every year.

Almond Pine Cones

I love making these pine cones, they take a little time and patience but they ae actually very simple to make. All you need to do it take some almond paste, shape it into cones then starting at the bottom of the cone you stick the pointed end of the sliced almonds into the almond paste. One you are done you can either leave them like this or you can pour chocolate over the cones by inserting a tooth pick into the bottom and holding it over a bowl while spooning melted chocolate over it.