I have received some early Christmas gifts, gifts that were cleverly and loving crafted by the giver, so I wanted to share them with you.
Coat Hanger Ornaments
The first two are some Christmas decorations that my dad made.
Both the angel body (above) and the star (below) are made from plastic coat hangers and zip ties. So creative! Since these are made with plastic they are suitable for either indoor or outdoor decorating. I added the lights since I planned on displaying them outdoors.
Incidentally, I hadn’t told my dad that I been looking for an angel ornament to hang outside but had not seen any in the stores I had visited. It is the perfect gift.
Broom Corn Ornament
The other hand crafted gift (pictured below) came from my neighbor.
This lovely decorative broom is even more special because some of the components are things that we grew on our farm.
It was one day this past fall when our neighbors Matt and Karen stopped by the farm for a visit. Karen asked if she could collect some pinecones for some crafts that she was working on. After I showed her the tree where the pinecones were most plentiful, and she collected as many as she wanted, we walked back to the barn where my husband handed her a bunch of broom corn and said, “see what you can do with this.”
What is broom corn you ask? The short answer is that it is the plant that makes up the base for the above broom decoration.
A longer explanation is that broom corn is not really corn at all. It is a variety of sorghum that has historically been grown for use in making brooms. Out of curiosity my husband picked up a couple packets at a yard sale last year and planted them along the garden fence this past spring.
Broom corn grows very tall. Some of ours reached about twelve or thirteen feet, but I have read it can grow as tall as 18 feet (5.4864 meters). Unlike corn the seed does not grow on a cob. They grow on branches at the top of the plant.
When cut and dried these branches become very stiff. It is these branches that are used for making brooms. The video below show the broom making process.
Nowadays broom corn is more commonly used as a decorative plant, put in vases or turned into decorations like the one Karen made.
Speaking of Karen’s creation I also want to point out that the flower in the arrangement, just to the left of the two pine cones, is actually made out of a portion of pinecone which was cut near the bottom then painted. How clever!
I’ll close with a thank you to Dad and Karen for these wonderful gifts and to you for taking the time to read my posts.
Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.
In 2015, when this post was originally published, was the last time I made this recipe. It was the last year that we had our large family Christmas brunch. (I also had very few readers at that time so it is unlikely that you have read this before.) This year we will be having a small family Christmas brunch so my tradition of making this is being revived. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
When ever our family gets together we all bring a dish to pass, so all of the cooking doesn’t fall on whoever is hosting the party. Many years ago, I don’t remember how many but it’s probably going on twenty, for our Christmas brunch celebration I began making a potato dish, it became a hit, and I think I have made it every year since. I’m going to share the recipe with you.
Ruth’s Potato Stuff has become it’s name, because after years of referring to it as Ruth’s potato stuff, my sister told me that I had to give it a name. I said “you already did. It’s Ruth’s Potato Stuff because that is how everyone knows it.” (I know, I’m revealing my quirkiness)
Usually I make it on Christmas Eve so that we can have it when we all get together on Christmas morning, but this year we will…