Friday, December 5, 2008

Pomander Balls

Ah, I love Christmas! I don't live in a winter wonderland so I bring it inside. These pomander balls hold a long holiday tradition (centuries!) - they were also used as early air fresheners and make great anti-moth 'sachets'. 

Choose a piece of citrus and load up on cloves at the bulk spice market (fresher, cheaper, and a great way to get small amounts of spices you don't use often) and insert in either a pattern or cover the entire ball (I like to do concentric circles rather than 'random'). If you're doing several use a thimble to help press the cloves otherwise the clove oils might start to sting. Place balls somewhere with good air circulation to dry. Place en masse in a bowl or on a plate or tie up with ribbons or use a long sharp needle to insert a ribbon through so they can hang in the closet, on a door, or on your tree! They also make great holiday gifts. 

I always wrap mine up in tissue at the end of the season. The scent will fade but you can still display them after the scent is gone. In the photo, the front two pomanders are freshly made (leave space between cloves for shrinkage) and the others are from earlier seasons. I am using tangerines this year, but have heard you can use non-citrus fruit such as apples and pears. I have some apples in my icebox so maybe I'll try that next.

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