Spice scented fruits fill the air with a pungent holiday fragrance. They make welcome gifts and are so simple that even older children can join in the fun. Pomanders can be restored to their original fragrance and used for many years.
What you will need:
- Nut pick, knitting needle, or any similar pointed utensil
- Oranges, pears, lemons, or other similar fruit
- Whole cloves (1 large can for each ball)
- Powdered cinnamon (1 tablespoon for each ball) (2 tablespoons, if orris root is not available)
- Powdered orris root, if available (1 tablespoon for each ball)
- Decorative trimmings, ribbons, lace, bows
Use your pointed utensil to pierce the skin to avoid breaking the clove tops. Stick the whole cloves into the fruit rind. The cloves do not have to be set in rows or in any type of pattern, but if you are going to tie a ribbon around the pomander, you should leave an empty channel the width of the ribbon as you press cloves into the fruit.
Mix the orris root and cinnamon in a bowl (use cinnamon alone if the orris root is unavailable). Roll the clove covered fruit in the spice mixture until it is completely covered. Next, wrap the pomander loosely in tissue paper and place it in a dry, warm drawer, cupboard, or closet for four to six weeks. Inspect the pomanders from time to time. If the fruits are drying too fast, they may shrivel; too slowly they may mildew. The drying process may be speeded up by partially drying the pomanders in a slow (200 degree) oven for several hours and then allowing them to continue drying as above in the time remaining until they are needed.
When the pomanders are dry, shake off the excess powder. Decorate with ribbons, lace, greenery, or dried flowers.
Ideally, your pomanders should be made at least six weeks before Christmas to allow time for natural drying; however, they can be made at the last minute and then dried in the oven.
The fragrance of the pomanders can be restored, and they can be used from year to year. To do this, remove the trimmings. Then simply boil the pomanders. Roll the fruit again in the cinnamon-orris mixture and dry in a slow oven overnight. And then they are ready to use again to send an aromatic scent throughout your home.