I decided to get a head start on my Christmas decor after seeing these extra large fresh Sugar Pine Cones out on display at my local Longos at the quarter of price being advertised at the decor stores. Off I went picking them up and placing them in my cart only to be covered in pine cone sap!! Yes, my Canadian husband was all smiles and asking why didn’t place them directly in the bags provided? As most of you already know I was born and raised in Queensland Australia and now living in Canada, not very many pine cones there, especially at Christmas time for seasonal decorating…. maybe something to do with +30 celsius temperatures and the lack of Pine trees??? So, I arrive home with my sap covered pine cones and fingers…… That sap sticks to everything!! After a bit of Internet surfing I discover that I can bake my sap covered pine cones in the oven for 1 hour?? I have to say I was filled with trepidation…. especially with the warning of watching for smoke or fire from my oven.
I preheated my oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, lined some cookies sheets with foil, laid out the pine cones spaced apart on the trays and placed them in the oven for 1 hour. No fire, no smoke, no call to 911. Just the beautiful fragrance of pine cones in my house. When the hour was done, I removed the trays from the oven, let them cool but I STILL had sticky sap on the pine cones. I replaced the foil and relaid the pine cones and repeated the process – it is imperative to replace and discard the foil after each cycle in the oven as the sap pools and the droplets form on the foil. I repeated the process 4 times…. after the last time no sap at all. Whilst it was a little time consuming – I made sure I was in the room and regularly checked inside the oven, the fragrance of the pinecones was just lovely, and the final result was absolutely worth it.
Happy Holiday Decorating!