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Monday, December 22, 2008

Make a fragrant holiday decoration, a pomander!

The pomander, a clove-studded fruit, is a traditional Christmas ornament and New Year’s gift. The word pomander comes from French pomme (which means apple, also the root of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits,) and ambre meaning golden in color. If you are looking for fun holiday activity or an inexpensive gift idea you might try making pomanders. The scent should last for up to a year, and you can refresh them with essential and fragrance oils such as cinnamon, clove, cedarwood, vanilla, myrrh, and frankincense.

To make citrus pomanders, you will need the following:

· clean, dry and undamaged citrus: lemons, oranges and limes
· fine knitting needle or kitchen/BBQ skewer or a 2 inch nail
· whole cloves

First decide upon a design. Stud the surface evenly and closely with cloves, completely covering the fruit, or create patterns, spirals, or write names with the cloves to use pomanders as place cards at the table. But, don't leave the pomander half finished because the skin will harden once pierced. Before you stud the fruit with cloves poke a hole first with a skewer, nail or knitting needle. Make the holes approx. 1/4" apart. (Leaving less space between cloves may result in broken fruit skin and your pomander may fall apart.) Insert cloves. The more cloves in your pattern (the more thoroughly you cover the fruit), the better the chances of it drying properly and not molding.

Tie on ribbons or rafia (secure with a straight pin), form a bow at the top for the hanger, and hang them on the Christmas tree. Later, remove the ribbon and simmer in boiling water on the stove top to scent your home with a spicy, citrus ambience perfect for the holidays! You can also artfully display several pomanders in a fruit bowl, or burl basket, and use as a table centerpiece, or give them out as gifts. Delightful!

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