I know, I know, it's been MONTHS since I posted anything but reviews (which probably wouldn't have gotten done EITHER had I not had obligations to companies to do those posts) and now I'm posting up a home design idea instead of a recipe. For that I'm extremely sorry, but the only reason I can give (and no it's not an excuse, it really is the reason) is that I've been so darned busy (literally I have things to do seven days a week anymore and on top of that I have been working on getting home made Christmas gifts completed, etc.). I've found it impossible to come up with anything really creative to do. I've been rehashing a lot of my recipes that I developed last year in my own house, been in a total culinary slump when it comes to dinner (to the point my husband actually has complained that we're having the same old thing over and over again...how totally pathetic am I?) and have barely had energy to go from day to day activities without fatigue. The last four days I've been taking massive vitamin D supplements and am starting to feel the brain fog lift, so I'm THINKING that may very well have had something to do with my problem, but we shall see.
So, anyway, since I actually had energy to check my e-mail a couple of days ago I got an e-mail from blog member Mary who has just found out that her grand daughter can't tolerate pine wreaths and was wondering if I could come up with a decently cheap solution to her problem because it's a tradition in her family to have a wreath above their kitchen door.
Well, Mary, for this one I asked my brother's advice as he's severely allergic to raw pine (like if he brushes against a board in a lumber yard his hands will immediately swell type of allergic). He told me what HE does is he goes to Williams Sonoma and orders a bay wreath. So, I checked into that, but of COURSE they don't ship those to Alaska. So, I experimented to see what it would take to make my own. And you know what? It was really easy to do, looked great and now I have a little bay wreath hanging above the door.
Now, quick note here. If you do not dry the bay in your microwave ahead of time so it is dried flat the bay will curl as it dries and your wreath will start to look sort of odd. But, if you're okay with that, rock on!
How to Make a Simple Bay Wreath
- 1 6-inch grape vine wreath (I got mine at the used store in the craft section for like .25. If you don't have that option, try Jo Anns or Michaels as I KNOW they'll carry them).
- 3 Containers fresh bay leaves (found in the produce department at your local mega mart over by the salads. I have found them at Carrs and Three Bears around here and at Fred Meyer in Wasilla). If you open the bay leaves, do so and try to find ones that are in bunches, not loose leaves, as it will keep you from having to break out the craft glue).
- A pretty ribbon to decorate your wreath (or you can try tying a crappy bow, like I did).
How to Assemble:
Take Bay Leaf Bunches a few at a time and place in between a couple of layers of paper towels. Place on a microwave safe plate and then place another plate or another microwave safe flat surface on top of the bay (I used a pyrex storage container that has a flat bottom on the bowl). Microwave bay in 20 second intervals until it is nice and dried (just snap a small leaf on your bunch as near to the bottom of the bunch as possible. If it snaps cleanly you're done). You'll notice that your bay stays nice and green when you do this too, which is a nice bonus. While this is happening enjoy the wonderful scent of bay as it permeates your home.
Take your now dry bunches and your grape vine wreath. You'll see at regular intervals on your grapevine wreath where the wreath is wrapped around to tie the wreath together. Take your bay bunches and carefully jam the bunches under the support wraps, making sure to point the bunches in the same direction. Work your way around the wreath until you've made a complete circle.
Then, place your ribbon on the wreath, wrap some string around the wreath to create a hanger for the wreath and voila! You're done!
And the best part about this wreath is unlike a traditional pine wreath, this won't shed needles in your home, and you can use the bay for cooking after the holidays are over. And you can reuse the grape vine wreath for something later when the bay is gone. Total score as far as I'm concerned!