With the holiday of Sukkot just around the corner, it’s not too early to start thinking of creative ways to decorate the sukkah.
Here’s a festive idea that celebrates the harvest with garlands of dried citrus fruits. The mix of oranges, lemons and limes creates a colorful medley, and the fruit slices filter sunlight like stained glass. You even can use the dried fruit after Sukkot for home décor throughout the autumn season.
What you’ll need:
1. Thinly slice the oranges, lemons and limes. (If you prefer, you can use only one type of fruit.) The slices should be no more than a quarter-inch thick. The thinner the slices, the faster they will dry.
2. Pat the fruit slices dry with paper towels. Soaking up as much juice as possible with the paper towels will reduce drying time in the oven.
3. Heat the oven to 200 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the fruit slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
4. After an hour, flip over the fruit slices so they can dehydrate evenly. Return to the oven and dry for another hour. Check the fruit every hour and flip the slices each time. It will take two to four hours to dry the fruit, depending on the thickness.
5. Poke two holes with a nail near the top of every fruit slice, about a half-inch apart. The fruit still will be flexible, so you can move the nail around to expand the holes to fit your string.
6. Slide string through the holes to make your garland. If you have a problem with insects in your yard, you can spray the garland with a clear varnish before hanging.
Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.