From the Kitchen to the Christmas Tree
Each year, we buy a little tree for our Special Fork office. We decorate, keeping to a kitchen theme, using a few purchased ornaments, such as a garland of “candy,” blown glass fruits, fabric ice cream cones and other food-related decorations. Then we fill in by improvising with what’s available in the Special Fork kitchen.
The ornaments we’re making today would look wonderful on a kitchen Christmas tree, or would be perfect for anyone just starting a household who hasn’t yet collected enough baubles.
You’ll need a few materials:
- Ribbon – I like wire ribbons, since the wire helps to give the bows some shape and you can fluff up the ribbons to make them perky. Ribbons with some metallic accents are best, since they’ll sparkle with the reflected lights from the Christmas tree.
- Sprigs of artificial holly or evergreen – you can use real ones, but for a longer life, go for the fake (but not plastic)
- Gold cord and a few beads (for the Christmas tree ornament) – I used pearls from a broken necklace
- 1 or 2 oranges or lemons
- Small glue gun, glue stick and cinnamon sticks (for cinnamon stick bundles)
- Various kitchen items like Christmas cookie cutters and small kitchen tools
Once you’ve gathered your materials, here’s how you can work your magic.
- Christmas cookie cutters: Tie each with a ribbon and tuck in a sprig of holly. Add a tree hook to hang.
- Christmas tree cookie cutter with dangling bead: Thread a bead through thin gold cord, knotting the end to keep the bead from slipping off. Tie the other end of the cord to the point of the Christmas tree, allowing the bead to hang free in the negative space. To keep the cord in place, tie a ribbon on each side of the cord and knot the ribbons together.
- Kitchen tools: Add a bow to any small kitchen tools that have a hole in the handle: honey dipper, baby spatula and measuring spoons are good choices. Tuck in some holly berries.
- Citrus slices: Slice orange or lemon crosswise, about ¼-inch thick. Press gently between paper towels to dry up as much of the surface moisture as you can (do not squeeze). Lay slices on a cookie rack on a sheet pan and dry in the lowest heat of the oven. This may take a couple of hours. As soon as the citrus slices are dry, remove from the oven, prick a hole with a paring knife, thread ribbon through and tie decoratively.
- Cinnamon stick bundles: Use three cinnamon sticks from your spice jar or buy longer cinnamon sticks and break them to the desired lengths. Stack to form a bundle; use a hot glue gun to dab a small bit of glue to hold the sticks together. Tie the bundle with ribbon and add some holly or evergreens.
Using found items in your kitchen is a great way to customize your Christmas tree and to save money, too. After the holidays, simply slip off the ribbons and all the tools can go back into their drawers and back to their workaday life, having had their day in the sun.
Note: Special Fork is a family company that started from a family’s commitment to cooking at home, and its name was inspired by a child’s Special Fork. In this spirit, Special Fork will be closed from now through January 4 so we can all enjoy quality family time during the holidays. We’ll be back on January 7 with more inventive – and tasty – ways to solve your dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now!
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a recipe, please check out our recipe database; all recipes take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. You can search by ingredient, meal type, lifestyle (busy mommy/daddy, cooking newbie, cooking for one or two), and level of difficulty (1 is easiest).
All of us at Special Fork – our daily bloggers, our food editors, our video bloggers, Dave and I – send you our warmest wishes for happy holidays!
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