I am playing in the kitchen today with some festive pomanders which should hopefully make the house smell wonderful over the Christmas period. This is taken from the book by Stephanie Donaldson called Aromatic Gifts. And from what I have read it would seem to be a win win situation. As the fruit dries the pomander hardens up and the scent will fade and yet according to Ms Donaldson if you simply refresh the pomander in some warm water and then dip it back into the saved drying mixture and leave for four weeks turning the pomanders regularly they will be as scented as they were before.
I have bought a net of oranges that were on offer - I already have plenty of spices in but hopefully I should just have enough time to get this sorted in the run up to Christmas really they need longer, but I am hoping that they will keep and I will be able to use them next year as I am using orris root which is a natural drying dessicant. The drying spice mixture can be kept in an air tight jar apparently for up to a year. and van be used to make several batches of pomanders. Ms Donaldson notes that when studding the orange with cloves to keep them fairly close together but with sufficient room to allow for shrinkage.
She suggests that once they are dried to present them and use them to wrap the pomander in some muslin and then two or three layers of silver or gold net tie with some appropriately coloured ribbons and some bells and then hang them on the tree or garlands to scent the room.
4oz /100g powdered cinnamon
2oz/50g powdered cloves
1/2 oz/15g powdered allspice
1/2 oz/15g powdered nutmeg
1 oz/25g powdered orris root
Thick darning needle or thin knitting needle
6 unblemished thin-skinned oranges
4oz/100g best quality whole cloves
Gift packaging (if giving away)
Mix all the powdered spices together with the orris root into the bowl.
Pierce a line of holes around half an orange and stud with cloves.
If you are adding ribbon segment the orange and leave a strip which is completely uncovered in cloves so that the ribbon sits properly on the orange once cured.
Repeat the process until the whole orange is covered
Place the orange in the spices tossing gently so that the whole of the surface has been covered in the spice mixture. Repeat for the other oranges. Keep the oranges in the spice mix covering the bowl tightly with cling film. On a daily basis turn the oranges as often as you remember for approximately one month. They will then be ready to remove from the spices and use.
Photos and update to follow
I like playing and what a nice thing to do on a cold windy Sunday afternoon.
Catch up soon