Sometimes during the shorter days its nice to come in from the cold and have a warm mug of something or an easy project you can put your hand to. With this project you can have both!
Recently after coming in from a wet chilly hike, I was feeling a little low. I remembered that my mother used to make these orange clove pomanders for Christmas. Sometimes we would find them in our stockings, sometimes they sat on the mantle, I think one year we had one hanging from the doorway with mistletoe attached to the underside. They smell great and there are quite a few variations that lift your senses and spirits. There are lots of ways to decorate them. Let your creative instincts be your guide. The ones my mother and grandmother made had large ribbon tied around the outside – package style, and they were hung by an extra loop at the bow. The cloves were tight around the orange so there was no skin showing, but like I said, there are a lot of variations on that theme. I’ve seen people use the cloves very sparingly in a pattern between the ribbon sections; others use them to cover every inch of the fruit. I chose to leave a little space between the cloves, because as the orange dries out, it shrinks and the space is taken up over time. All you have to do is hang it or set it out in the open and let nature take its course.
My husband came in just as I finished pressing the last cloves in place. His first question was, “What smells so good?” Even though I loved the look and smell, I decided not to wait and let mine dry, but instead to brew it into several batches of clove tea. Cloves are the thing if you want a great antioxidant. I was surprised to discover that the hot aromatic water is really pleasant all on its own. No sweetener needed. Love it! I also used the clove water to make my oatmeal and raisin breakfast the following day.
The thing I like most about this edible ornament is that it is simple and organic. You can do it in about a half hour by yourself or with a friend, – or in stages if you want with smaller kids. It makes a cheery gift, and if you don’t brew it, a nice drawer or room freshener.
It gave me the warm fuzzies remembering my Mom and Grandma as I pressed the cloves in place and drew the ribbon through the sweet smelling fruit. Its something you can do that’s naturally good for body and soul.