Sunday Telegraph "The leaves were exceptionally good".
Anneka Rice on Radio 2 - "Almost too beautiful to eat"

Friday, 7 December 2012

Edible Christmas Wreath

I made this edible Christmas wreath for lovely Mandy who works for me. Mandy has a bit of a sprout fetish and starts eating them obsessively from the moment they hit the shops in November so this was her idea of heaven. Fortunately we work in quite a large field!

If you'd like to make one you will need the following:

1 x 12 inch wire wreath ring
1 roll of florist binding wire
approx 50 florist stub wires
(all the above available online)

a few good handfuls of straw or hay
(but damp scrunched up newspaper would do!)
a large bag of chillies
approximately 4 kilos of sprouts
a bow

Start by peeling the outer layers from the sprouts and then loop them onto the stub wires approximately 4 at a time so they look like mini kebabs.

Wrap a good layer of straw or hay around your wire wreath base and secure by wrapping  around and around with the florist's wire. Secure the florist wire to the metal base at the start and finish to stop it coming undone.
Then start to wrap your stub wires around the wreath base so that the sprouts form a solid mass at the front of the wreath and twist the two ends of the wire at the back to secure in place.

Continue all the way around the wreath until it is completely covered. You might need to include the odd wire with just two on here and there to ensure an even coverage as the outside of the ring is obviously wider than the inside but they are quite malleable. Using the smaller sprouts on the inside of the wreath and the larger ones on the outside also helps with this.

At this point pick up the wreath with the sprouts facing you and turn it slowly around clockwise to see which way is up. There will definitely be a point at which it looks right. Feel free to gently squish and squeeze it to get the shape correct. This is very important. When you are happy with which way is the top then turn it over and attach a hanging wire by looping a triple strand of wire across from one side of the metal wreath frame to the other about 1/3rd down. Keep it slightly slack just like with a picture wire so that when it is hung the wire doesn't show across the central hole.

Next pair up chillies and hook them  either individually or in pairs through the end of a stub wire. Poke the other end of the wire down between the gaps between the sprouts so that it goes all the way through the wreath to the reverse side and then just fold over.

Attach a ready made bow either at the top or bottom of the wreath (as takes your fancy), or make a nice bow from some wired florist ribbon. Attach the bow to a hooked stub wire, just like with the chillies and poke through the base before folding around the back to secure.

Hang on a hook and enjoy!