It's more of an aggressive branch than a tree. And yes, it's going to be in the middle of our dining room table next week (actually, it's there now - I just photographed it on our piano). This is the infamous fall centerpiece I first spotted on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa years ago. Ina Garten dried sliced fruit and hung it with raffia on a beautiful fallen branch she found on her Hamptons property. My pregnant sister sawed this particular branch off of a dead tree in her backyard. And yes, it was hilarious. What was even funnier was me trying to get it in the back of my car on Monday afternoon. The citrus and apple slices I dried weeks ago are finally strung up with kitchen twine and I'm happy to say the "Snoopy tree" (my husband's pseudo-affectionate term for this autumnal DIY) is ready to roll for fall.
I'm planning to keep it on the table through the winter and hang ornaments from it.
To dry the fruit: slice up lemons, limes, grapefruit, apples, pears and/or any fruit you think might work. Lay them out on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake at 175 degrees for 6-8 hours (or overnight). Check on them every so often. HERE is a link to the original video from Ina. Personally, I think my fruit is over-baked, but the dark brown charred color works just fine for the season. Am I right? Hooray for happy mistakes. What are you doing for your holiday centerpiece?