So I bought some oranges for mulled wine at Christmas. Well I tried to make mulled wine with a sachet I had bought and it was vile. I didn’t realise how much sugar you had to add but I doubt it would of made any difference. It was like drinking your Nan’s perfume. The plan was to make some non alcoholic mulled wine as well at Christmas but with lock down it all didn’t really happen. So I had these oranges which we don’t really tend to eat and had just forgot about them. They ended up not in the fruit bowl and somewhere else so went unnoticed for a while…. 3 months. Don’t judge I was busy and couldn’t be bothered.
I have seen loads of crafts and home decor using dried oranges so I thought I would research how to do it. Majority of the posts available are about using the oven and take hours, some say up to 7 hours in the oven. Nope, I’m not doing that. My mind is not built to concentrate or remember one thing for that long. This is has happened multiple times already with salt dough and when cooking carrot cake muffins which I ruined and Mike still brings up. Mike is always rolling his eyes that I haven’t set a timer or that I have gotten distracted. I just have a million things going on and I just don’t always have the time or the brain power to dedicate.
So I thought I would wing it and try dry them with no oven. They were basically dry on the outside already for being neglected for so long. I wondered if they would even work or would they be mouldy and shrivelled inside with a cloud of dust emerging when I cut them. Surprisingly they were still really juicy on the inside. B being his usual fruit loving self wanted to eat them and there were some pieces too big and too difficult to cut smaller so he gobbled them up. With the skins being so hard and dry they were a nightmare to cut so I hacked away creating a variety of thickness and shapes. You could use a processor or a mandoline for more precise and consistent size. I am to impatient and impulsive for that so ignored all the extra effort of using a gadget and planned to enjoy the imperfection.
I placed them on a wire rack and shoved them to the side in the kitchen. They dripped a little bit of juice at first but didn’t really make much mess. I left them there for about 2 weeks but they might need longer depending on size and freshness. To be honest this worked for me as I have been too busy to want to do anything with them and unable to find my inspiration or ideas. They are just sat waiting for me to have the energy, time and imagination. Then once again a plan formed in my mind and I knew what I wanted to do. The rind smells amazing so I’m going to use the ends for a display of some sort. The others I’m going to add to some home made crap crafts creating something new …… and also enhancing a previous craft with some colour. Fancy hanging branch has had a small makeover click here to see.
Tip – If you want them a bit quicker then you could place them on some parchment paper by a radiator for a quicker result but I just couldn’t trust my kids not to destroy or eat them. This can also be used on lemons and limes if you fancied a variety, I accidentally dried half a lemon too. It just ended up on the rack and went unnoticed.
Let me know how you do yours or what you like to use. Tag me on Instagram @jenjensdesignsuk