Sunday, January 2, 2011

Iced greetings

I hung this wreath made with cranberries and scented geranium leaves on one of the plant supports in the garden. Sunshine is starting to chip away at it.

I've been wanting to make one of these for six years, since I worked on a newspaper package about ice wreaths in December 2004.

I used a Bundt pan but any gelatin mold will work. I filled the pan about half full using a bag of fresh cranberries and water and left it outside to freeze. Once that layer was solid, I finished filling the pan with water and left it to freeze.

Found deep in the bowels of the Christmas closet.
Unmolding the wreath was as easy as running a little water over the pan in the kitchen sink. Add a wide ribbon and you're ready to hang it on a post or a trellis or prop it against a snowbank or chair. Depending on the weather and whether it's displayed in direct sun, the wreath can last for days or weeks around here. When it does melt, the cranberries are a treat for the birds and other critters.

Actually, all sorts of ingredients other than cranberries can be used. Orange slices would be pretty. So would rings of green pepper. Other choices include spruce and cedar sprigs, cinnamon sticks, walnuts, and glitter. For one wreath, I added leaves from my peppermint-scented geranium plant for a counterpoint to the cranberries.

This one is just cranberries. I propped it in the snow on a bed of balsam.

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