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Looking for a way to help a holiday hostess gift stand out? We’ve got you covered. These pretty vintage harvest designs give any offering seasonal appeal.
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Enjoy the spicy sweetness of warm mulled cider with a twist: the flavor of another fall fruit, pears. In a saucepan, combine 4 cups pear nectar (found in the juice aisle at most grocery stores), 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, and an inch of fresh ginger, thinly sliced. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep 15 minutes. Strain and serve hot, garnished with a cinnamon stick and a thin slice of pear. For spiked cider, add a shot of pear brandy. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week; reheat to serve.
Photography: Aaron Dyer3 of 6
A Wreath for the Birds
Give your feathered friends a treat by converting an inexpensive standard-size balsam wreath into a bird feeder. Start by threading floral wire through the skins of halved oranges; twist it behind the wreath to attach them tightly. Spread peanut butter generously onto pinecones; roll them in birdseed. Then thread the pinecones with wire and place them between citrus halves. Hang the wreath on a fence or outbuilding—and watch birds flock to the feast.
Choose a thick floral wire. We used 26 gauge to hold the citrus and pinecones in place and prevent drooping.
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A leftover turkey carcass is used to make a delicious broth, which is then used to make a warming soup akin to the Italian favorite tortellini en brodo.
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Enjoy this salty-sweet, omega-3-rich alternative to bacon.
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Photography: Aaron Dyer6 of 6
Get the Scoop
Treat your guests to festive flavor with this cool trick. In a large bowl, simply fold 2/3 cup pumpkin purée into 1 pint slightly softened vanilla ice cream. (You can also use the paddle attachment of your kitchen mixer on low speed.) Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container and let it harden before serving. It’s delicious alone or topped with slices of candied ginger. Store, covered with plastic wrap, in the freezer.