Lessons About Pine Cones

Tonight, in the midst of my week-long Christmas decorating frenzy, I got the wild idea that I needed to go take full advantage of all the pine cones in our yard before it got rainy and yucky outside tonight.

So I ventured out into the pitch black (at 7pm?) backyard with a flashlight and a grocery bag. We have such huge pine trees that literally it took me two minutes to fill an entire bag.

I had read on a craft blog that you should put your pine cones in the oven for about an hour to burn off any of the mold or bugs on them. I thought that seemed to be a pretty good idea, so I popped all my pine cones in the oven at 350.

Not a good idea after all.

After about 15 minutes, Loren said it smelled like something was burning. I went to check on the pine cones, which were not burning, but did look like they were getting kind of dark. So I took them out and set them on top of the stove to continue drying out.

Let's just say that within five minutes the intense smell of pine was EVERY WHERE in our house.
We were in a very thick pine fog.
Coughing, sneezing, feeling nauseous from the smell.

The pine cones are back outside now. Never to be baked again. Hopefully they stop smelling like three million evergreen air fresheners so I can still spray paint them and use them for Christmas decorations.