And go!

Today marked the start of my “handmade for the holidays” marathon that will take over the next couple of weeks… scratch that, few weeks. While I’m not going to go entirely handmade for this season, I am going to do as much as I think will be valued. I’m not going to lie, handmade is completely lost on some people – no need to waste my time and energy on them. They get gift cards, but for everyone else, consider yourself lucky.

I have big plans of mini gift baskets to include some tasty holiday treats. I started those today with candied orange peels. As soon as they dry out a bit more, I’ll dip the peels in chocolate, put them in jars, and call them done. This is my first attempt at candied orange peels and right now I feel they are a bit sugary but hopefully I can shake some excess sugar off and the chocolate will give them some umph. I’m going to save a few for me, pre-chocolate, to add to some cranberry or blackberry muffins.

The orange peels will get put into some baskets/bags with some other holiday goodies that will get made the week of Christmas (cookies? fudge? cheese balls? – I haven’t decided).

I suppose today wasn’t the first day I’ve worked on my handmade gifts. I’ve been spinning the heck out of some yarn and while it’s not yet knit up, it will eventually go into some gifts. So perhaps I’ve made more of a start then I give myself credit for.

I think today was the first day I’ve really felt ready for the holidays. Perhaps that is why the oranges were finally tackled. I even put up the Christmas tree (not decorated, but still pretty all lit up in the front window). I’m now fully ready for Holiday baking, decorating, cooking, thinking, dreaming, movie watching, carol listening, and gift wrapping. Good things will come this year, yup, good things.

What are your handmade plans for the holidays? Or do you have any? Sometimes I think it brings a lot of stress (last year I felt that way) but sometimes I think it brings a lot of Holiday spirit. What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “And go!

  1. pentalia says:

    Mmmmm… sounds wonderful!I have made candied orange peel before, and when they turn out well, they are a little bit of heaven–especially with chocolate.But sometimes they turn out too dry or something, so it's like eating orangey, sugary cardboard. And sometimes they aren't dry enough so they go moldy sooner than I'd like.What's your recipe? Please, please??

  2. idyll hands says:

    I juiced some oranges, scooped out the pulpy stuff and didn't bother removing too much pith. Then I put them in a pot, covered with water, brought to a boil, drained – do that three times. Then melt lots of sugar into water (1 cup of water to 3 cups sugar – this goes up or down depending on how many orange peels you need to cover with water). I brought the syrup up to 230 degrees F and added in the orange peels. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 60 minutes (until translucent). Then I coated them in more sugar but I wish I hadn't. They are almost too sugary now. Ah well, next time I'll leave the sugar coating off.

  3. pentalia says:

    Thanks! I'll try that next time. I think where I went wrong was by scraping as much pith off as possible. The thicker pieces were much better, actually. Also, I had to dry mine in the oven, because it's just too humid here most of the time.I have some in their sugar syrup in a big jar in the 'fridge, waiting for a use, so I might just pull 'em out and see if I can get them dry enough to dip in chocolate. I'm thinking maybe white chocolate since the blonde lightning bolt will be here.

  4. idyll hands says:

    Yummm – white chocolate dipped ones sound good. I got some dark chocolate chips for mine.

  5. Punkinhead says:

    I'm going to start calling you Martha. Seriously.

  6. idyll hands says:

    Can't be Martha, she would have removed ALL of the pith.I'm too lazy.

  7. Candied Orange Peels! YUMM!!!Make me a basket too, I want one!!:)hehee… ♥

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