Making ornaments with your children is wonderful way to create memories. Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle says her sister still has ornaments they made over 30 years ago. Each ornament was still intact which speaks to the longevity of bread dough ornaments. The three ingredients are flour, salt and water. Once kneaded and rolled out, the dough can be cut with cookie cutters, or the dough can be used like a modeling clay and free form trees, animals, braids, whatever your child can think of can be created.
Another dough is salt dough again the same three ingredients in a different proportion or ratio. This time it is salt, flour, water. The greater amount of salt makes an interesting effect happen when the dough is dry. The salt rises to the top giving the ornaments a beautiful white somewhat sparkly appearance. The last dough that she uses is an apple-cinnamon dough. Only two ingredients, applesauce and cinnamon make up this scented dough. One may cringe at the thought of 2 cups of ground cinnamon, but it is inexpensive at restaurant supply stores, Sam's Club, even Dollar General.
While none of them taste good, it creates peace of mind if a small child or even a pet bites down on one. They won't nibble a second time! Color can be added naturally to the dough by using spices such as paprika, turmeric, curry, even parsley, cocoa, or coffee grounds. Once the ornaments are formed, they can be painted with food coloring mixed with an egg yolk. Just put the yolk in a bowl and add drops of food coloring until the desired hue is achieved. Paint with small artist's brushes as desired. Once dried either by baking at 200 degrees for a few hours or leaving at room temperature for about 3 days, these ornaments will enhance the tree for years to come. Another way to accent the ornaments is by drying the ornaments then using an extract like almond extract and a little food coloring. The extract will dry within minutes depositing the color wherever you want.
Don't forget to punch a hole in the ornament with a toothpick, nut pick, or even a straw. If you forget, it can still be pierced. A drill with a very small drill bit or even a dremel drill can make a hole for a piece of ribbon. Don't be alarmed the ornaments are brittle so the back side of the hole may actually be a bit larger than the front. No worries just put the unattractive side towards the tree.
She made apple-cinnamon ornaments five years ago, and they still smell good. A tree loaded with homemade ornaments has an old world charm that simply can't be bought. Making time to create memories with your children will last a lifetime.
½ cup salt (I like the large flakes of Kosher salt)
½ cup warm water
1 cup all purpose flour
In a large bowl, mix together salt and flour. Gradually stir in water until it reaches a dough consistency. Form into a ball and knead for 5 minutes. The longer you knead the smoother the dough becomes.
Form into desired ornaments then air dry for about 3 days maybe longer if the ornament is thick. Alternatively, bake in a 200 degree oven for about an hour.
Again, thicker ornaments may take a few hours.
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
3720 Mt. Olive Rd.
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.