Well, actually mushrooms out of tangerines.
While flipping through my big binder of newspaper and magazine clippings for a recipes I wanted to make for Christmas morning, I stumbled on this one I had saved from Family Fun magazine:
I had a few Cuties in the fridge so I thought I would make them up for a centerpiece. I halved the tangerine, removed the fruit and added that to my cranberry sauce, cut little lines on the top and threw them in a warm oven to speed up the drying. In the morning I dug out the tea lights from the closet and tried to assemble them. The tangerines were small and the tea lights were big. The peel didn’t even come close to fitting around the light. They looked like this:
Ok, I probably should have checked to see if they fit first. But, it was Christmas Eve and I had a lot going on at the time. I decided, waste not want not, and cut some Toyon (the red berries and dark green leaves) and rosemary from the yard and came up with this centerpiece:
I was trying to hide the tea lights at first so only the tangerine tops glowed through. But then I noticed they looked like mushrooms so I left it as is. I found a few instructions online that took a real tea light out of the metal cup and put it inside and another that made an oil lamp (stick a wick inside and fill with oil), both of which would probably have warmed the fruit enough to give off a nice tangerine smell which wouldn’t happen with the cooler battery operated ones. But I have a rambunctious 4 year old and I don’t do real candle centerpieces yet.
Maybe I will try again someday. But, in the meantime it was a good lesson for me to accept and adapt.