The Ritual of Oranges

Especially in the northern hemisphere, citrus is a gift in Christmastide. When my grandfather was young, the best present he received was a fresh orange. These were expensive and a precious treat.

These days the scent of citrus is especially delightful in winter and for the holidays. Some of us may even have too many fresh oranges and seek ways of using them well. One method I tried this year is drying fresh oranges in the oven. These make sweet-smelling tree ornaments or a nice garnish for a holiday drink.

Here is a simple recipe if you want to give it a try: Heat oven to 200 degrees or a bit more. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Thinly slice the oranges and arrange the slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 mins-1 hr, turning halfway through, until completely dried out. When cooled, put a ribbon or thread through them and hang on the tree or a wreath – or use to garnish your favorite drink, even water.

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