Friday, December 18, 2015

How to Dry Citrus Slices & What to Do With Them ~ Citrus Series


"The modern day pantry projects are, in many ways, highly romanticized versions of their medieval equivalents. We make these things for pleasure rather than for practical purposes, nevertheless they are fragrant, decorative and sometimes functional. By passing on these methods, we help to continue a tradition that has been an essential part of country life for centuries."
~ Stephanie Donaldson, The Country Store

When they say the "little joys" in life, I think of these quaint homemaking projects. It is very enjoyable and relaxing to turn on some inspirational music and begin creating in the kitchen on a cozy winter day. Dehydrating citrus slices is simple and satisfying and you can make many lovely things for the home with them. And the nice part is that you can prepare them in the oven if you don't have a dehydrator.


Simply wash and thinly slice your citrus fruit (some people remove the seeds but we don't bother as I really don't have the time like the rustic look).


Spread them out in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. Depending on your climate the time will vary. I let ours go for 8 hours at 135 degrees (fahrenheit) since we live in a humid environment but yours may take less time. In the end, you want dry, brittle fruit that will crack easily.

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dry them in your oven by laying them in a single layer on a nonstick baking mat on the lowest degree (not hotter than 200 degrees fahrenheit) until brittle (approx. 2 - 4 hours depending on the heat level). I don't recommend placing them directly on a cookie sheet as they will probably stick.


When dried, store your citrus slices in an airtight container in a cool, dark area of your pantry or cupboard.


Make Your Own Tisanes {Herbal Tea Blends}

~ Add citrus slices to a pot of tea for an extra punch of vitamin C ~

Although there are lots of ways you can use them, tea blends are our favorite! Not only do they taste wonderful, but they add medicinal value, especially helpful for the cold and flu season! Just toss one or two into your normal tea blend or make up a different assortment until you find a favorite. Brew a large batch in a tea pot or half gallon jar and enjoy all day. My husband likes to dip around my pantry and drop herbs by the handful into a pot and let it simmer at night. This tea relaxes him and also replaces many nutrients that are lost during a stressful day.

Herbal tea blends gifted in a tin, jar or cellophane would be very appreciated!



The slices would look lovely in your favorite vases and even mason jars.

Decorative potpourri can also be made frugally with you have (see ideas below).


For a frugal autumn/winter potpourri blend, follow these three easy steps:
  • Place your dried orange peels in a large bowl and add what you can find in your pantry and your backyard such as broken cinnamon sticks, dried pods or cones from trees, whole (or coarsely crushed) nutmeg, cloves (whole), allspice (whole), star anise, dried leaves, bark, wood chips, sticks and/or an assortment of dried, pretty petals.
  • Add in a few drops of your favorite seasonal essential oils such as clove, orange and/or cinnamon.
  • Toss well and store this mixture in an airtight container for 3 days to allow the aroma to infuse (shake a few times a day). When the time is up, place your potpourri in pretty bowls or vases. 
These potpourri blends can also be packaged up in cellophane with a bow for a nice gift!


Make Your Own Simmering Potpourri

A simmering potpourri can be made on your wood stove or stove top using your dried citrus slices, cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves and/or any other fragrant spices on hand. Your house will smell amazing!

This simmering  potpourri can also be packaged up in cellophane and ribbon for a nice hostess gift!


Citrus slices make a pretty replacement for a bow on a winter package.

(We like to use recycled paper and/or brown bags for frugal gift giving.)


Orange Peel Jar Decoration by Beautiful Girlhood


Orange Garland Using Ribbon by Flower Patch Farmgirl


Herb Embellished Citrus Slice Garland by Golden Isles Magazine



   

Citrus Strings by Fordham.u-la-la.com and Citrus Mobile by Melashacat




The nice part is that you are not limited to winter and autumn for using these citrus slices. They will keep until summer and can be used in many ways come that sultry season when the prices are not as agreeable as they are now.

~ Some Spring and Summer Uses ~


Lemon Garnish in a Glass by Pottery Barn

~ Make Some Festive Drinks ~

Drop a few citrus slices in a pitcher of water for flavor and pretty embellishment.

Add some lemon slices to each cup to "dress up" your lemonade.

Infuse your iced tea with slices of citrus peel.


Although there are many things you can do with them, I also love looking at them in our pantry. They are just so pretty to the eye... like little bits of sunshine captured in a jar. It seems the perfect picture for a cold, winter day. Happy homemaking!

33 comments:

  1. Oh lovely, lovely, lovely Jes! I love this so much! Thankyou for sharing. I dry orange slices often, but hadn't thought to use them in so many pretty ways. You are a darling! Mimi xxx

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    1. Nice hearing from you Mimi. Have a lovely weekend! :)

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  2. Very inspirational post,JES. I love all the ways you shared to use citrus slices, and your photos are just beautiful. As I was reading this I kept thinking I need this (and everything else you've posted about) in a book. Love that your husband dips around the pantry for herbs. :)
    Hope your weekend is wonderful!

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    1. You leave the kindest comments :) Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your weekend my friend! :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing how to do this in an oven Jes. You have shared so many creative ideas for their use...my favorite is the garland hanging in the window...I can almost smell it :-) Have a wonderful weekend my friend and Merry Christmas!

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    1. You are welcome Lori. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

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  4. Oh what lovely ideas!!! Thank you for sharing!!! I will be so glad to get back into my kitchen as soon as I get over third trimester morning sickness. To everything there is a season.

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    1. Yes, very true! Rest up! Your family needs a healthy woman keeping the home! :) The citrus fruit will always be there the next year... :)

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  5. JES, I'm so glad you posted this! I was just thinking about how to decorate for winter and remembered you had a post on it. I have quite a few oranges in my fridge, so I decided to do some slices in a jar with cinnamon sticks etc. Now I have a tutorial and many more ideas, thanks to you :) --Kelsey

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    1. So glad this was useful to you Kelsey! Thank you for taking the time to share! :)

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  6. I love these ideas! So often I find reduced citrus fruit on sale. These would be so pretty attached to gifts or homemade mixes. Thank you for sharing. I found you on the Front Porch Friday Blog Hop and shared this on PLain and Simple Homesteading's FB.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing Carol! I really appreciate it :)

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    1. So glad you liked this Chrissy! :)

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  8. I am so excited to do some of this!!! Makes me want to buy some citrus. :)

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    1. They are a fun and versatile fruit! :)

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  9. I love the look of dried orange slices. So many lovely ideas to decorate with. I have a dehydrator which works perfectly. Dried apple slices are nice too. They add a sweet country touch. Have a wonderful Christmas! Diane

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    1. Yes, the apple slices are another delight to decorate with (if for some reason we don't eat them first!!!). Have a lovely weekend and nice hearing from you Diane! :)

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  10. I love this! They look like little stained glass windows. I have both oranges and lemons just now that I was given and its very hot outside they would dry in a day I think...
    Thanks so much.
    Jes, have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for so many ideas this year, so much encouragement. With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. They do resembled stain glass windows. How lovely! Nice to hear from you Annabel! May you enjoy a wonderful weekend of peace and love :)

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  11. These are all such wonderful ideas! I can practically smell the beautiful citrus scent. I haven't dried citrus slices for a couple of years, but now I wish I made up some for Christmas. Thank you for sharing my photo. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New year. xo Karen

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    1. And thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photo with us!

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  12. Your presentation is outstanding! Wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.

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    1. Ah, thank you Monika! Hoping you enjoy a wonderful weekend! :)

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  13. I do love so much your 'old style' creativity, and you put so much love in everything you do, my precious friend, I admire you a lot !
    Thank you for sharing another wonderful and inspiring post,
    may your weekend be the most beautiful,
    sending blessings across the miles
    Dany

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment so kindly Dany. You are a blessing! :)

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  14. Such wonderful ideas! Am off to dry some oranges tomorrow!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this Sarah! Happy kitchen-crafting! :)

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  15. Beautiful, just beautiful! Wonderful how the citrus slices taste good and are so pretty also. Thanks for all of the gorgeous pictures - can't wait to try some of these ideas!

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    1. Citrus fruits are so much fun! Glad you stopped by Vickie! :)

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  16. How beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial and all the lovely ideas for using them! I love seeing your links at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  17. This was such a beautiful post ull of orange delights! Oh my...I simply must try the orange peel garland...so pretty and I am sure it would be very enjoyable to make, too...I simply cannot wait for Autumn...Autumn and spring are my two very favoruite seasons...Spring for planting and Autumn for making marmalade and other citrusy lovelies!
    Dear JES! I truly loved this citrus series and thank you for featuring my little project...I am so glad you did! Can't wait to try some of these!
    Hugs to you!

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  18. I have been looking around your site WOW, just wow ! My Dads Italian and they dry lemons and oranges for Christmas :o) They also dry water mellon rind and carve it into shapes and hang them on the tree as well. Thank you for such a loverly site I have not been able to subscribe but hopefully I will find you again.

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