Christmas Workshop


Christmas Ornament Salad

1 package gelatin, any size, any flavor

clean, empty vegetable, fruit, or soup cans

lettuce leaves

ornament decorations: mayonnaise, carrot strips or slices, thin strips of green pepper, banana slices, maraschino cherry halves, flake or shredded coconut, miniature marshmallow halves, or whatever else you think would make a pretty ornament

green or ripe olives, thinly sliced

  1. 1.

    Make the gelatin according to package directions, then pour it into the can(s) and refrigerate until set.

  2. 2.

    Hold the can upside down just above a cutting board and use a can opener to cut the bottom of the can. The gelatin should slide easily onto the cutting board.

  3. 3.

    With a table knife, slice the gelatin into disks—the ornaments.

  4. 4.

    Place each ornament on a lettuce leaf and decorate, using an olive slice as the loop on top (see illustration).

Chip and Nut Logs

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 can (16 ounces/454 g) dark chocolate icing

miniature marshmallow halves, extra chopped nuts, raisins (optional)

maraschino cherries, drained and blotted dry with paper toweling

1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

  1. 1.

    Ask an older person to melt both chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly; set aside.

  2. 2.

    Add the icing and any optional ingredients and stir thoroughly.

  3. 3.

    On waxed paper, press the dough into 4 rectangles about 8″ (20 cm) long and 1/4″ (6.5 cm) thick.

  4. 4.

    Line a row of cherry halves along the length of each rectangle, about 1/2″ (13 cm) from the three edges; refrigerate 5 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Fold the other side of each rectangle over the cherry halves and pinch the edges together to form the logs.

  6. 6.

    Roll each log in the chopped nuts till coated; wrap them individually in foil, and refrigerate until ready to slice and serve.

Cookie Christmas Cards

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg

“art supplies”: sugar, colored sugars, colored sugar pellets, sprinkles, coconut flakes, and so forth

  1. 1.

    Cream the sugar with the butter, then mix in the eggs and the vanilla.

  2. 2.

    Alternately stir in the milk with the remaining ingredients, kneading at the end.

  3. 3.

    Roll out dough into a square about 1/4″ (6 mm) thick on a lightly floured board, then use a floured table knife to cut the dough into “cards” (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Use floured cookie cutters to lightly press star, wreath, Christmas tree, Santa, gingerbread boy, or other designs in the dough, then finish your picture, using the “art supplies.”

  5. 5.

    Place your cards about 1″ (2.5 cm) apart on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake at 375° F (190° C) about 12 minutes. (Dough does not brown; it is done when it springs back when pressed gently with a table knife.)

Christmas Wassail

4 cups water

1 cup sugar

5 whole cloves

3 sticks cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

3 pieces of gingerroot, 1/2″ (13 mm) in length

12 ounces (340 g) frozen orange juice concentrate

6 ounces (170 g) frozen lemonade concentrate

8 cups apple cider

  1. 1.

    Boil the water, sugar, and spices for 10 minutes; strain out the spices.

  2. 2.

    Add the remaining ingredients and heat through.

Cranberry Pudding

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 cups whole, raw cranberries

  1. 1.

    Mix together all but the cranberries, then stir in the cranberries.

  2. 2.

    Pour into a greased 8″ (20 cm) square pan and bake at 350° F (175° C) for about 50 minutes. (Mixture is done when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.) Serve warm in small individual dessert bowls, topped with Sauce (see recipe below).

Sauce

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup whipping cream or half-and-half, not whipped

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ask an older person to help you cook all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat (or in a double boiler), stirring constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. While still hot, spoon over warm Cranberry Pudding.

Edible Gift Box

To make each box, you will need: 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon water, a pinch of cream of tartar, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, a mixing bowl, an electric or hand mixer, 6 graham cracker halves, a ruler, a serrated table knife, a peppermint, red cinnamon candies, small star cookies or teddy bear cookies, and small Christmas candies, nuts, or strips of paper.

  1. 1.

    Place the egg white, water, and cream of tartar in the bowl. Beat with the mixer until it is foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat. This will be your “glue” for making the box. To prevent the glue from drying out too quickly, keep the bowl covered when not in use.

  2. 2.

    For the bottom of the box, spread glue along the tops of two parallel edges of one cracker lying flat.

  3. 3.

    Press and hold the second and the third crackers vertically on top of the glued edges until set.

  4. 4.

    Measure the width of each remaining side of the box. With the knife, carefully cut the fourth and fifth crackers to fit in these sides. Put the glue on the side and bottom edges of these two crackers. Press and hold the crackers into position between the upright crackers until set (see illustration). Let the box dry completely.

  5. 5.

    For the lid, glue the peppermint in the middle of the sixth cracker. Glue a red cinnamon candy on top of the peppermint. Put glue around the edges of the top cracker, then place cinnamon candies on top of it.

  6. 6.

    Decorate the sides of the box with glue, cookies, and cinnamon candies.

  7. 7.

    After the decorated box is dry, fill it with small Christmas candies, nuts, or “sweet” messages written on strips of paper. Then put on the lid.

Christmas Greetings

To make two Christmas Greetings, you will need: one 8 1/2″ x 11″ (22 cm x 28 cm) piece of gold construction paper, a pencil, scissors, white paper, a ruler, glue, and a pen.

  1. 1.

    Fold the gold paper in half. Draw a large star on one side of the folded paper and cut out the two stars together.

  2. 2.

    From the white paper, cut six strips, each 1/4″ x 7″ (6 mm x 18 cm).

  3. 3.

    In the center of each star, cut three parallel slits 1 1/4″ (3.2 cm) long and, depending on the size of the center of the star, 3/8″ to 1/2″ (1 cm to 1.3 cm) apart (see illustration). Weave three strips of paper through the slits of each star, alternating the second strip with the other two strips (see illustration). Glue the tops of each strip in place.

  4. 4.

    Write “JOY TO YOU”—or any message you’d like—on the strips of paper.

  5. 5.

    Your Christmas Greetings can be Christmas cards, package decorations, or tree ornaments.

Salt Dough Ornaments

To make the ornaments, you will need: 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt, 3/4 cup water, a bowl, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, a toothpick, aluminum foil, a cookie sheet, a paintbrush, acrylic paints, and decorative string or narrow ribbon.

  1. 1.

    Put the flour, salt, and water into a bowl and mix. Knead the dough until it is soft but not sticky.

  2. 2.

    Roll the dough to about 3/8″ (1 cm) thickness. Cut out the shapes with the cookie cutters. Using the toothpick, make a hole 1/4″ (6 mm) in diameter near the top of each shape for hanging.

  3. 3.

    Place the dough shapes on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake them at 275° F (135° C) for about two hours. Check them periodically—the shapes are done when they are completely dry. Smaller or thinner ones will take less time. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

  4. 4.

    Decorate the ornaments with acrylic paints. When the paint is dry, put a length of string or ribbon through the hole, and tie the ends together to make a loop for hanging.

Christmas Coasters

To make four coasters, you will need: a pen, 4 wide-mouth canning lids, felt, scissors, paper, old Christmas cards, and clear-drying glue.

  1. 1.

    Place a canning lid on the felt and trace around it. Repeat three times, then cut out the circles.

  2. 2.

    Glue a felt circle on the bottom of each lid.

  3. 3.

    Draw a circle 2 1/2″ (6.4 cm) in diameter on the paper and cut it out. Use this pattern to trace four decorative circles on the old Christmas cards. Cut out the circles, center each on top of a canning lid, and glue in place.

  4. 4.

    Put some glue into a small dish, thin it with a little water, and mix. With your fingers, spread the glue mixture lightly over the card circle, making sure to seal the edges; let dry.