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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cinnamon and Pumpkins

Is it Fall yet? The stores sure had me thinking it was, I had to look it up on the calender...although I was CERTAIN it wasn't Christmas! I'd seen the Fall and Halloween decorations at Michael's a few weeks ago, but yesterday I saw them at Dollar General, so the shopping season must be ON! Those are the smart, I'll be last minute as usual :) But let's hold back today on the Thanksgiving and Christmas, and think about Fall. HossFly surprised me with a bag of mini pumpkins, which reminded me of some pages I had torn out of Better Homes & Gardens magazine. They'd used black paint and paper lace doilies to stencil a pumpkin. The ones with the black and white trims are really nice,too. I love any decoration that doesn't always involve cutting the pumpkin. They get rotten so fast down South in the heat and humidity. These I can keep from Halloween through Thanksgiving.
Since I had mini pumpkins, I ran out and bought some small paper doilies, and clipped the center open in a few places. I taped down the doily and gave my 5 year old grandson a paint pen to make a couple. I'm sure it was much easier that way, at least it wasn't as messy as it could have been :) He had fun, and I had him write his name on them.

After that, we made some scented ornaments. I'd found a recipe years and years ago, when my children were really young, and we made these to give as gifts and hang on our own tree. They smelled so good! I lost the recipe but found it again last year, thanks to the internet. Try this out, it's great, and it doesn't get soft and fall off the tree or wreath, or get all moldy. In fact, when my daughter mentioned us finding the recipe to one of her friends, she said she still had the heart ornaments we made for her about 15 years ago, and that they still smelled wonderful :)
Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments
prep time 30 minutes
3/4 cup applesauce
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 jar cinnamon (about 1.9 oz)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons ground cloves
Combine applesauce and gelatin in small saucepan and let stand 3 minutes. Heat over medium heat just until simmering, stirring constantly.
Combine cinnamon, cornstarch, and ground cloves in a bowl. Add applesauce mixture. Turn out onto counter and knead a few turns. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Use each half within 30 minutes. Roll each half in between sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4" thickness. Cut out ornaments with 2" cookie cutters. Use a drinking straw to cut out hole for hanging. Dry overnight. Reroll scraps and continue rolling and cutting. I used cotton string for hanging them on the tree at Christmas.

Well, let me give a few tips that helped me out making these. First, I let the dough cool a lot before I kneaded it. Then I kneaded it a lot. If I tried to roll them out too fast, the dough was sticky. It works much better if you let it sit a while. It will dry out pretty fast, but keep it wrapped in plastic and you'll be okay. Also, I had much better luck drying my ornaments on a cookie sheet instead of the wire rack. They wanted to fall through the rack, no matter how firm the dough was. I went to Dollar General and bought the spices 2/ $1.... one bottle of cinnamon was enough for a doubled recipe,way cheaper than the grocery store. Here are some photos I took.....keep in mind I doubled my recipe. And I used single serving sizes of applesauce. THIS IS A NON-EDIBLE RECIPE...but smells good enough to eat, so I had to keep telling my grandson not to eat it,lol. Here's the site I found the recipe on....


Sandi said...

I found your post while searching for lace doilies. What a great way to decorate the pumpkins. We now have pumpkins that are ready to be picked - we live on a farm and sell produce. Maybe I can get a couple decorated before we start selling them. I'll have to come back and read more on the ornaments - it sounds like fun - it's just getting a little late - and yawn... I'm ready to go to sleep. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

Kudzu said...

Thanks, Sandi...You're so lucky to have your own pumpkin patch! Try this idea out, it looks much better on the bigger pumpkins. And the ornament recipe is awesome, and smells wonderful!