Saturday, November 13, 2010

Waxing Fall Leaves

I've been collecting fall leaves of different shapes and colors for the last weeks and pressing them beneath a heavy book to keep them from curling up on the edges. Several days ago, I got them out, turned on the stove burner under a pot of paraffin and "waxed" them, a technique I learned from my Mom and she in turn from her mother.

Every November Mom would gather autumn leaves in Discovery Park and wax them for me. I'd use them to decorate the Thanksgiving table. Several years ago, I asked her to teach me. We took an outing to the military cemetery in the park, a site for amazingly large, yellow maple leaves. Then she taught me how to dip them. Properly.

Waxing leaves is quite easy. What's hard is resisting the temptation to get the wax too hot. Mom cautioned against this but mostly from the standpoint of risk..."a real fire hazard", she warned. What I learned is that wax that's a bit too hot burns the leaves; they lose their original color and crinkle up on the edges. Oh well, they still look pretty good and I'll use them this Thanksgiving.

 Happy (early) Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday to be sure.


  1. I want to learn how to make these. Can you teach me sometime?

  2. I've never waxed leaves. I thought you were going to say you pressed leaves between sheets of wax paper. Yours are so much prettier:)

  3. Thought of Mom again today while walking in Portland. So many red and golden leaves on the ground.


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