Sunday, December 2, 2007

Clove Orange Pomanders: A Christmas Tradition

My mother used to make these pomanders at Christmas, one of her many English Christmas traditions. We'd help, although I seem to recall the help being limited to endless questions, a few cloves pushed into the orange, and then just talking to Mom as she completed the project. It's the smell that is so compelling--the rich spiciness of cloves mingled with the sharp citrus of oranges. It's the smell of Christmas coming.

I made clove oranges today for the first time in years. It was a perfect day for it--cool and rainy, just right for indoor activities.

Here's how to make them--so simple, and yet so rewarding. These would make good gifts.

What you need: oranges, whole cloves, ribbon, straight pins, scissors.

What you do: Wrap ribbon around the orange in any direction that works for you. Use straight pins to hold the ribbon in place. If you want to hang your orange, allow enough ribbon to make a hanger at the top.

Then simply push cloves into the orange in a pattern that pleases you. The only problem I had was that after the first two oranges my thumb was very sore. I found a work-around, using a small pair of very sharp scissors to pierce the holes first, then pushing the cloves in. Worked like a charm!

Hannah helped make the last two, and took the photos for me. Here's one of our finished products.

1 comment:

Granny Sue said...

Older recipes call for a variety of spices, etc, that help preserve the oranges. Be aware that the oranges will dry and shrink, so the ribbons will loosen. I recommend these as a December decorative accent. If you want to actually use them for a closet pomander I suggest you look for a preservative such as orrs root or Sandalwood oil. Other websites have instructions for this.

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