Our tradition's posts did not end with Christmas, we are going to feature other families and their traditions throughout the year!We asked Ashley Nielson, blogger at I Believe in Unicorns if she could share with us one of her favorite traditions this time of year. She's a fellow Arizona Native, and has just the right cure to bring some brightness into these last winter months.
"Citrus season in Arizona, hands-down, is my favorite time of year. It runs from December to April, which means not only am I eating and smelling one of my favorite tastes and smells on earth, but I also get to do it while enjoying our perfect Winter and Spring time temps!
Last year we were on a major natural kick (we still are, but most of it has become habit now, so it seems less relevant). So I decided to make all my own Christmas ornaments. I used popcorn, cranberries, and all types of citrus and I loved how it turned out so much I might have cried when we took down our sweet little tree. The citrus garland hanging on the stairs however, stayed up all year! I didn't see any reason to take down something so lovely.
So while these dehydrated citrus slices make excellent Christmas decor, I won't judge you if I walk in your house in May and see them still hanging around--you'll be in good company.
To make them, you simple pick out what citrus you'd like to use--pink grapefruit and oranges turn out best in my experience, but I've included lemons and limes in the past as well.
You then want to cut slices, not too thick or it will take a looooong time to dehydrate, but not too thin or else they'll burn (and you'll end up with some dark brown ones, like I got this year on accident--i didn't hate them though...) I'd say no more than half and inch, probably a little thinner. Pat the slices gently with a towel or napkin to absorb some of the excess moisture. Turn on your over to a low temperate around 125°. Arrange the slices onto cooling racks and put the cooling racks on cookie sheets--I recommend putting similar sized slices together so if your grapefruit take longer than you lemons, you can just removed one tray. Check on them every hour and you can flip them half way, especially if you're not using cooling racks. The house will smell so insane, you'll want to scream for all your neighbors to come take a wiff, so they can share in the euphoria that is drying citrus.
The slices should look like the majority of the moisture is gone, but not be brown (unless you want some brown ones). When you take them out, let them cool on the racks. They will still be a little tacky, but will continue to dry for the next few days. Feel free to make ornaments or a garland or window charms, whatever your heart fancies, as soon as they're cooled. They look especially beautiful hanging somewhere where they can be back lit by a window, so their colors shine through--you don't have to wait til they're bone dry to create with them!
Off to eat a grapefruit! 👋" -Ashley Nielson
sam edelman petty booties//nordstrom (one sale here)
striped onesie//j.crew old (buy similar here)
african market basket//sprouts (buy similar here)