Thursday, December 13, 2007

Check out the pretty!

My neighbor (a florist) treated me to a bag of fresh holly last week.
I love the dark green leaves and bright red berries – but the beautiful stuff doesn’t last long cut.

After a short stint in vases on my credenza, I hated the thought of tossing it out in anticipation of my trip to San Francisco this weekend.

How to make it last? Frozen Luminaries!

I gathered up some empty yogurt tubs and plastic cups, some twine, a cutter and bottle of olive oil.
You could make larger luminaries using a gallon ice cream bucket and yogurt or margarine tubs.

Here’s what I did.
Lightly oil the inside of the tubs and the outside of the cups. (so the ice can slide out easily once it’s frozen)

2) Arrange some holly inside the tub, squeeze the cup in – securing it with twine so the cup doesn't float out as the ice expands. (if you don’t have twine or string… the tub lids might work) Then arrange some more leaves around the edges. (careful, it’s prickly)
3) Fill the tubs about 2/3 full of water and set them in the freezer or outside.

4)Once partially frozen, Toss in some extra berries to make the most of the bright red pop of color. Then add water up to the brim (allowing for expansion) Poke the berries into the slushy part so they don’t float up to the top)

5) Once they’re completely frozen, untie the twine, hold under hot water to loosen then pull out the cup and squeeze the block of ice out of the tub.
Three out of the four I made popped out easily. I can only assume the stickler was due to insufficient oiling.

Insert a tea light and viola! A lovely holiday luminary for your front steps or porch… possibly to last through the winter months!

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