Scented Apple Wreath

You will need:
juice of 9 lemons ,
2 tsp salt, 8 to 10 large firm apples (Rome Reds or Ida Reds are preferred, or use any firm apple),
Ground spices: 6 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cloves, 2 tsp orrisroot powder (Note: Spices will not only add a pleasant aroma but also will act as a natural food preservative),
8″-10″ heart shaped wire frame that can be open or closed by unhooking two ends (or 8″-10″ length of heavy gauge wire),
1 1/4 yd of 1″ wide blue and white checked ribbon,
floral wire,
sharp knife,
mortar and pestle or small bowl and spoon,
small kitchen sieve or tea strainer,
pastry brush,
broiler pan or wire screen,
pliers,
scissors.

Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into a medium-sized bowl, add salt and blend well. Peel and slice apples horizontally into 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick circles. Core apple slices as needed. Soak slices in the lemon juice mixture for 6 minutes, turning once. Make sure slices are covered completely. Remove slices from bowl and place on paper towels. Pat dry with more paper towels to absorb excess liquid. Combine the ground spices and blend well, using a mortar and pestle or small bowl and spoon. Using a small kitchen sieve or tea strainer, dust apple slices with the spice mixture. With a pastry brush, gently remove excess spice mixture. Turn apples slices over and repeat the procedure.

Place apple slices in a single layer on a broiler pan or wire screen. Dry in conventional oven at 150 – 200 degrees F for six hours or until evenly dried. If using a microwave oven, dry apple slices for 4 – 6 minutes at low to medium heat. Let slices cool. If not dried thoroughly, return slices to oven. Apple slices will be pliable. Straighten both ends of the heart-shaped wire frame with a pair of pliers. Fold apple slices into halves, then into quarters and “thread” them onto wire frame. When frame is completely covered with slices, use pliers to bend both ends back into”hooks” so they can be reconnected. Using checked ribbon, make a large bow with a loop for hanging. Attach a bow to wreath with thin floral wire.

Horn of Plenty – You will need: a cornocopia basket, either handmade or from a store. Fill this with fruits, flowers, and veggies of the season, spilling out onto the table. Add to it small trinkets or charms for prosperity, abundnace, or anything else you would like to give thanks for.

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