Get down and dirty in the garden
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As you already know if you read part one of my post, My Favorite Christmas Thyme Book and Dried Herb Wreaths, one of my favorite Christmas books is Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm by Marge Clark. Since I found some old Jello molds that my mom used during her bridge club days, I decided to try making both my potpourri and spice wreaths in those. I bought a lot of spices in bulk one year several years ago and I think they will be put to good use in this recipe.
Here is the recipe for the Mini Spice Wreaths from Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm:
Make Mini Spice Wreaths
For one 2 1/2- to 3-inch wreath, you'll need:
• 3/4 cup whole spices (See bolded spices in instructions below.)
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon white glue (such as Elmer’s)
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 2 1/2- to 3-inch ring mold
1. There are no exact measurements for the whole spice mixture. Combine whole cloves, broken cinnamon sticks (put in a plastic bag and hit with a hammer or wooden rolling pin), whole allspice, whole nutmeg (also broken into pieces) and dried orange or lemon peel pieces. Chopped whole vanilla beans and other aromatic spices may be added. (I used about 1/4 cup each of whole cloves and whole allspice. I used 3 cinnamon sticks and 3 whole nutmegs. I put both of them in a freezer grade plastic bag and broke them up with a hammer. It was more than enough to fill the mold and there was a good bit to round up the top of mold. It was not a flat bottom.)
2. Grease the ring mold with soft oleo or a nonstick vegetable spray. (This is very important. Do not skip this step.)
3. Use a cottage cheese carton and mix the water and glue together to make a thin paste.
4. Add the spice mixture and the ground cinnamon. Stir to coat all the mixture.
5. Pack mixture into the prepared mold and tamp it down.
6. Drizzle any glue left in the container over the spices. The glue will dry clear.
7. Let wreath set for about 6 hours or overnight.
8. Remove wreath from mold and let it dry thoroughly—a week at least—turning it occasionally.
This spice wreath came out of the mold very easily. A reader and follower of my blog suggested using a canning jar lid and ring to form a hole in the center so that it can hold a candle. I will try that in future recipes. This wreath might be used as napkin rings at the dinner table or as a decoration on the plate and given as a favor for your guests to take home. You definitely could use it as a package decoration, gift bag ornament or on the holiday tree. I really think these wreaths are easy to do and quick to make. The spice wreaths need more time to dry, but they are easy to make and you can make them in any combination of spices you may have. I also want to dry some clementine peels to add to the mix. Hope you enjoy making them. Here is the mini potpourri wreath that I decorated with a bit of wired ribbon. I think it turned out very well.
The Herbal Husband and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’ll be talking about herb seed and plant catalogs in my next post.
As always, if you have a comment or question about any of my posts or a general herb question, please write to me here with a comment or my email email@example.com and put in the subject line “Herb Comment or Question.” Talk to you soon.