BY KATE GALLAUGHER
Los Alamos Co-Op Market
Citrus doesn’t have to be just for eating! You can make beautiful, simple, and eco-friendly holiday décor by drying citrus. String with twine, add festive spices, and voila! You have a holiday garland that is fun to make and pleasing to look at!
*Tip: Set aside extra citrus and spices to mull yourself some cider while working on this project using the recipe below.
Co-Op Market citrus fruits – ruby grapefruit, navel oranges, Meyer lemons
Frontier Co-Op cinnamon sticks from the Co-Op Market
Whole Star Anise
String or twine
Preheat your oven to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. With a sharp knife, slice your citrus fruits as thinly as possible. Lay the slices on parchment paper on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, flipping the slices regularly (about every 30 minutes) to maintain a flat and even bake. The bake time really depends on how thick or thin you’ve managed to slice your fruit. The thicker the slices, the longer the bake time.
Once your fruit comes out of the oven, you are ready to string the garland together! Do allow the fruit to cool before beginning this next step. You can make a vertical garland (as pictured) or one that hangs horizontally to extend the length of a window or hearth. It may be helpful to use a thick needle or a skewer to make holes in the citrus slices and to string the twine through. The different spices can be used to anchor slices into place so they don’t slide. You can also make a few discreet knots below some of the slices to hold them into place.
Mulled Cider Recipe
2 quarts apple cider (Big B’s Apples Cider from the Co-Op)
2 cinnamon sticks (We sell Frontier Co-op spices here at the Los Alamos Co-Op)
2 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1 orange, thinly sliced
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes to impart all the flavors. You may want to strain through a sieve to separate the spices from the cider. Serve and enjoy. Tips: Garnish cups with any of the spices or a slice of orange.
The Los Alamos Co-Op Market is located at 95 Entrada Drive. Phone (505) 695-1579.
Editor’s note: Watch out for more columns from Los Alamos Co-Op Market staff in the Los Alamos Reporter