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Woman's hands putting cloves into an orange

Making a Pomander

Written by: Genesee Country Village & Museum 
Try crafting your own historic holiday decorations at home! Have you ever made a pomander?
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 6 to 8 firm, thin-skinned apples, oranges, lemons, or limes
– ½ pound whole, large-headed cloves with a strong scent
– ¼ cup ground cinnamon
– ¼ cup ground cloves
– 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
– 2 tablespoons ground allspice
– ¼ cup powdered orris root
– Nail or toothpick for piercing fruit
Woman making a pomander
Hold the fruit firmly and insert the cloves to cover the entire fruit. As the fruit dries it will shrink and hold the cloves in. Blend the spices and orris root in a bowl and roll the fruit, coating generously to keep the air out. Each pomander started should be completed within 24 hours to prevent mold from forming. Place the spice-covered fruit in a bowl, cover with the remaining spice mixture and set the bowl in a warm, dry place. Turn the fruit daily, making sure the spices are evenly distributed. Drying can take from two weeks to a month. The pomanders will be hard when completely dry and can be kept for many years. If dusty, refresh under running water.
Stay tuned for more handcrafted holiday decor ideas, and plan to visit GCV&M this holiday season for even more inspiration!

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