(psst! You can crochet a giant pine cone
if you don't have the real thing handy.)
Last time we saw my giant pine cones
, they were gooing up my coat and puncturing my appendages. Once I got them home, I needed to do something to make sure they weren't full of bugs and also make sure they wouldn't stick to everything they touched.
I did a ton of googling. Basically, you can soak your pine cones or you can cook them. I opted for cooking because that involved the least amount of touching them.
I know you saw how big they are when I had them in my arms, but just in case you didn't see the enormity of these suckers, here's a pint glass for comparison. They are huuUUUuuuuge.
I covered my cookie sheet in two layers of aluminum foil. Then I thought about what I wanted to use to pick up and arrange my pine cones ...
... I didn't want to ruin my dishes gloves ...
... nor my silicone oven mitts ...
Gah! I opted for sticking my hands in thick freezer ziplock bags as if they were square gloves. As soon as I touched the first pine cone, it punctured my finger. Seriously?!? Ouch!
I cooked the pinecones at 200 degrees F for 20 minutes. I turned them halfway through.
PLEASE NOTE: They smell fantastic until you open the oven at which time you choke on the intense and overwhelming fumes of CRAZY HOT PINE TAR.
What I mean is, open a window before you start this and make sure your kitchen is well ventilated because breathing this stuff literally hurts.
Very strong, very sharp, hypodermic-like thorns.
Crazy sharp thorns and sticky sticky pine tar.
Pretty instrument of pain and torture.
This is the bottom of a pine cone before I cooked them.
Here is the bottom of a pine cone after I cooked them. The pine cone scales (yes, I googled "pine cone anatomy" to find out what the word was ... ) opened up and curled under when I cooked them.
The tar was still sticky when I took them out of the oven, but once they cooled down, the tar hardened. They are still dangerous as all get out, though! :) And pretty!