Yesterday, I wrote about, and praised, the invention of “Scentsicles” to replace the missing fragrance of evergreens in my home. Today, I am making a natural alternative that dates back centuries: pomanders. Wikipedia refers to pomanders as “an early form of aromatherapy”. In addition to their yummy, spicy fragrance, they look rather pretty when arranged in a bowl on the sideboard, or kitchen counter.
This is an easy craft that can be done with kids or grandkids, with a little supervision. The materials needed are oranges, ribbon, and cloves. A bamboo skewer, or similar item, (knitting needle, perhaps?), scissors, 2 straight pins and paper towels are the only tools used. I like to buy my oranges a few weeks ahead of time and leave them out on the kitchen counter to dry out a bit, warning my hubby not to eat them. That warning doesn’t always work, though.
Beware: your fingers will get sticky !
The first step is to cut two lengths of ribbon – enough to wrap around the orange, like wrapping a gift. Allow enough ribbon to tie a bow and form a hanging loop if desired. Secure the ribbon to the orange with the pins.
Next, using the skewer, begin poking holes to break the orange rind. Following the edge of the ribbon, space them about 1/2 cm (1/4″) apart. Push a clove into each hole.
Working methodically around the orange, repeat until each section between the ribbons is filled with cloves.
Finally, tie the ends of the ribbon into a bow. Tie a hanging loop at this point, or, like me, trim the ends. Remove the pins.
After arranging in a bowl, keep an eye on the pomanders, turning them frequently as they dry out. Believe it or not, they will last quite a few months, age gracefully and remain quite fragrant.