As days grow shorter and the chilly air blows us home, it's nice to bring some of the outdoors in to admire by the warmth of the fire. The kids and I created a space in our cabin where we can study this season's beauty in the comfort of hearth and home. We wanted our winter nature nook to delight all five senses. There are cinnamon sticks and dried orange disks to smell and touch, warming candlelight, bright red Christmas Berries to look at, Paper Whites and Amaryllis bulbs to watch grow each day.
To make dried orange disks, simply slice 2 oranges as thin as you can, toss disks in 1/2 cup sugar, and dry in the oven or dehydrator at 200º for 2 1/2 hours. We tried making a batch without sugar and what we got are brown disks pictured below (the brightness of the other disk was preserved by using sugar).
It felt good to step away from the business this season can bring, take a deep breath, and collect treasures from creation with the kids. Their creativity was activated and a peace entered the house as everyone crafted elements of the nature nook. We love how it all came together, and checking the bulbs' growth progress each morning has become a before-breakfast ritual. I do think we have started a new family tradition.