Monday, November 21, 2011

Ardith's Jottings for November

A Taste for Holiday Gift Giving

Want to have fun and a tasty day out while doing your Holiday Shopping? Get a group of your garden club friends together and head to Southern Supreme Gourmet Specialities in nearby Bear Creek.  Not only do they make a moist, chewy and nutty fruitcake (they offer a reduced sugar version), you can get  chocolates, relish, jellies, pickles, gourmet mustards and pecan pralines!  Open a jar of the pecan pralines and you will  not close it - it will be empty before you know it!  I received some as a gift last year which lead to my discovery of Southern Supreme.   Many of you are familiar with them from A Southern Season store  at Christmas time but go, visit where the products are created and have a tasty time.  You can browse the store in front of their kitchens and sample treats.  Call ahead to 336-581-3141 or 877-815-0922 to schedule a tour of the kitchen, take your out of town holiday visitors or just take yourself for a sweet time. 

Re-use that Pumpkin!

Think out of the box for your festive decorations.  Don't toss that pumpkin- cut the top off, scrap out the seeds( see Marcia's earlier tip for pumpkin seed snacks) and use it as a container.  Put a pot of mums in it or  take a small plastic food dish, insert some oasis in it and put in the top of the pumpkin.  Snip some of your flowers, greenery, leaves before the cold gets them.  Even use some windfall acorns or twigs to add interest to the arrangement.  Put it on your porch or front steps. Bring it indoors for your dining table, kitchen table or sunroom.  Place the flower bedecked pumpkin on some colorful Fall leaves for extra oomph.

Another use for a pumpkin is to simply place it atop an urn and put pyracanthra, Chinese lanterns, or miniature ears of corn around the bottom.

I even use that pumpkin for Christmas decoration!  I get a lot of mileage out of my pumpkin.  For Christmas I spray paint the pumpkin white paint my initial on it with red paint and place it in the same urn with evergreens tucked beneath it.  Sometimes when I have a number of miniature pumpkins, I spray them white and paint  the letters J O Y on them and line them up on my window sill with greenery tucked under.  If you have enough miniature pumpkins, you can also  paint P E A C E.   You can skip painting the large pumpkin white and simply paint your initial on it and then place it in the urn or on the porch or steps with other fall foliage and embellishments.  Re use what you have; use what is at hand.  You don't have to rush out and buy new stuff.

I just remembered a decoration I frequently saw in Williamsburg and other Colonial spots --Osage Oranges or Bois d'Orange as we called them.  Stack them on a plate, tuck small pieces of evergreen, holly or other berries around the base and throughout the pyramid.  If you want to splurge, you can use red minature carnations or partially opened small mums scattered throughout the pyramid.  It was natural and Christmasy.

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