These all-natural great smelling orange pomanders made with spices are easy to make and create a wonderful festive spirit.
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Herbs and spices used for culinary and medicinal purposes can also create a magical atmosphere and festive scent, especially around Christmas time.
If you are the kind of natural person like me that doesn’t like glitters, artificial decorations turn your attention to pomanders - great smelling, all-natural decoration that adds a festive vibe and Hygge to your home.
What are pomanders?
Comes from French “pomme d’ambre” = apple of amber or “ball of ambergris” which mean a perforated bag filled with aromatic substances. They were used to scent the room or cloth or guard against infections. Later on, they were replaced with an orange, apple or other fruits studded with a clove or other spices used for the same purposes.
Pomanders can be displayed on Christmas trees, gathered in bowls or just hang in the windows.
Which spices and herbs to use?
The medicinal properties of cinnamon were known by ancient Egyptians and valued more than gold. While many people know that cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties, few know that smelling cinnamon can boost our memory. This study suggests that smelling cinnamon can improve the performance of several types of memory tasks and aid learning ability
I usually use clove when making hot gluh wine or gingerbread. This powerful spice was however used in the past for its antibacterial properties to kill off bacteria.
very decorative star anise, also called star anise seed, Chinese star anise, or badian is a must spice for our Christmas decorations.
Apart from its distinctive shape Star anise has a specific liquorice-like flavour.
Star anise is very popular in Asian cuisine and known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
I featured these spices in Christmas spice soap.
Other things to have at hand:
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE AND CLOVE POMANDERS
All you need to do is use your imagination and creativity to decorate the fruits with various shapes and designs. The more cloves you use, the more fragrant the pomander will be. Also, select cloves with the heads intact as these are the most fragrant.
Decide on an abstract or geometric pattern and firmly press cloves into fruits. You can use a toothpick, knife or skewer to make holes into zest before pressing cloves in it. I like to use a zester as you can see in the video as it allows you to make straight and regular lines. More cloves mean better preservation for a pomander. Fill the fruit with other spices such as cinnamon or star anise as much as you can to make it more fragrant and for better preservation.
Depending on your taste and purpose of use you can tie a ribbon around them and hang them in the window or on the Christmas tree or make a candle holder.
How to make orange sliced ornaments
Making pomanders and Christmas ornaments is already festive. We start with cutting apples, oranges and grapefruits into slices and letting them dry in the oven. This already gives us a wonderful Christmas smell in the whole house. Then we go for a walk where we search for things we could use for decorations such as pinecones, branches or bark.
Slice oranges and grapefruits into ¼ inch rings. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place the slices on the baking paper. Bake them for approx. 2 hours, rotate and check until the oranges and grapefruits are dried out.
These dried fruit slices are very tasty and make for a healthy snack too. If you want to decorate your table with Christmas cookies try these no-bake protein balls with rosehips that will light up your table.
Using your creativity and string and needle decorate them with spices of your choice.
How to make a pomander candle holder
Slice off the top of the orange. Take out some of the flesh, to the depth of the candle. After you decorate your pomander with spices place the candle into the hollow you have created. Light up the candle and breathe in deeply.
Making a garland using dried fruits and spices
Alternatively, you can make a garland using dried orange and grapefruit slices together with other spices like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cones, etc.
Just string them together to make a beautiful garland while enjoying the smell of oranges and all the spices. It is time-consuming but a totally rewarding time which we enjoyed and like to keep as a tradition.
If you want your pomanders to last, store them in a paper bag and cover them with ground spices completely. Shake them every day to make sure they are covered with spices. Cloves are natural preservatives as well as cinnamon. The spices will draw out the juices and the pomanders will shrink in size. You will know that they are dried inside when they make a hollow sound. The process of drying takes about 3 weeks.
can you dry pomanders in the oven?
You can dry them in a sunny windowsill or alternatively in the oven. Use a preheated oven to 130°C, 275°F for about 4-5 hours, or until the fruit has darkened and dried out.
How to use orange pomanders?
Pomanders can be used for any festive event like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween or parties, weddings, etc.
tie a red ribbon around your handcrafted pomander and make beautiful natural gifts that please anybody
They make a creative decoration for your table that smells and looks great.
Decorate a Christmas tree with pomanders or just branches of trees
they make an elegant decoration for your window
Fragrant dried pomanders are a perfect addition to your closet or any room.
with simple adjustments, pomanders make a beautiful candle holder
Clove and lemon are the best natural ingredients to repel flies. Thus the pomander made of lemon and clove can easily work as a fly repellent.