It was cloudy this morning, so while I was waiting for the sun to come out for some food photography, I went and foraged a few things from my woods. I had some glycerin from my soap making days, so it was time to preserve some autumn leaves a la Martha. Most of the leaves have passed and are all brown, but I found some beech leaves that are red, burgundy, and mahagoney. Along with the few yellow maple leaves left, we’re all set.
Bittersweet is considered an invasive vine. I saw massive amounts of it along the roadsides in parts of Connecticut, engulfing everything in it’s wake. There’s also some along the highway out to Pittsburgh but I never had the nerve to stop and gather some, fearing the state police would not appreciate my foraging. In the fall I always keep my eyes peeled in hopes of finding some locally and finally I spotted a lone vine down the road (won’t give out my secret location). Casting aside any worry of decimating the population to extinction, I only cut off one branch. It’s twisted tendrils proved to be quite a challenge, clinging with voracious tenacity. After a furious tug of war, it finally released from it’s host branch. You don’t need much for an arrangement or wreath, for it’s primitive beauty is best left to breath and twine at will.
This would make a lovely Thanksgiving centerpiece or mantle decoration. Wasn’t planning on much this holiday. There’s so much to do on my cooking school renovation (insulation might be nice for the winter’s classes!). With Kendra and Eduardo in Japan and Tegan planning on Thanksgiving in Buffalo, it’s going to be quiet around here. It’s also my least favorite holiday – turkeys and all that (don’t you dare suggest Tofurkey!). However, Buffalo is under 6 to 8 feet of snow, so I don’t know if there will be flights out of New York on Wednesday.
- 1 quart glycerine
- Autumn leaves, not dried out
- Newspaper, a few sheets
- Fill a shallow pan with glycerine.
- Layer the leaves in the glycerine, pressing down ever so gently.
- Allow to sit for 48 hours.
- Carefully remove the leaves from the glycerine by lifting up with their stems. Allow the glycerine to drip off for a few seconds. Lay the leaves out on the newspaper and let the glycerine to continue to drip off.
- Rinse the leaves under warm water, still holding them by their stems. Place on a rack to dry.