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Osage Orange Ornaments and Baked Olives


The Christmas season is here, and once again, my thoughts turn to a simple holiday. One that is meaningful, with family and tradition.

When the children were small, we studded oranges with cloves and rolled them in cinnamon. We learned a new Christmas Song each year. We baked slices of Osage oranges slowly in the oven and tied them with red ribbon for the tree. We made beeswax candles and ornaments. The house smelled wonderful.

A friend dropped off a box of Osage oranges at the store this year. We have a few baking in the oven today, in part to keep the store warm and cozy. Here is the recipe for making Osage orange ornaments. And below is a favorite recipe for baked olives. 

Osage Orange Ornaments

Preheat oven to 170-175ºF

Slice the Osage orange (not too thick, or thin, between ¼ -½ inch).  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet. Place the Osage orange slices in the oven at the lowest heat, and dry for 7-15 hours, or until dried but not burned, checking every half hour. (My last batch took about 10 hours.)You can turn the oven off if you go away, or overnight, and resume later. Pierce the slice with a needle, and thread with ribbon to hang. Osage oranges are very sticky. If you need to, you can wash your hands and knife with a little bit of cooking oil to remove the sap.

Baked Olives

1 pint olives, can be Castelvetrano, Kalamata, or a variety of different olives, pitted or not

olive oil to taste (1/4 cup)

Juice and zest of one orange

1 clove garlic, left whole

A bit of salt

some sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional, depending on your preference and availability)

350-400 degrees until sizzling, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a crusty loaf of bread, the flavor of the olives and the oil is amazing.

Below are our favorite Castelvetrano Oilves, just back in stock in the store! We will be baking a batch or two this weekend!

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