We read the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder when we were little. Little House in the Big Woods was a special favorite, with the home life of the Ingalls family described in great sensory detail, particularly harvest time. Remember the description of their attic draped with peppers and onions and stacked with squash and pumpkin? Mmmmm. And remember their Christmas morning when “Aunt Eliza had brought Ma a large red apple stuck full of cloves. How good it smelled! And it would not spoil, for so many cloves would keep it sound and sweet”? We always loved that. While we have made them, and other varieties of them (like cinnamon-y orange garlands) in years past, we hadn’t shared the experience with our kiddos yet. This turned out to be the year to start and we already look forward to it next year.
Gathered around Mom/Grammie’s table, we tied ribbon, poked designs, and applied cloves liberally. Together time is the sweetest, especially when combined with fun artsy activities that smell yummy AND that you get to enjoy even when the making is done. We relearned some things too:
Lesson #1: The tutorials aren’t kidding when they say to use something else to poke the holes in the fruit skin first to place the cloves in. Useful tip! We used heavy-duty round toothpicks though some of the tutorials suggested bamboo skewers or even ice picks. Whatever you use, make sure it’s safe to be in the hands of littles. 🙂
Lesson #2: There must be something to everyone’s advice about completely covering it in cloves or using some kind of preservative spice. Our orange pomanders were more about pretty designs and patterns than they were about being completely full of cloves. Consequently they lasted a few days deliciously and then rapidly expired. Ah well. They were fun while they lasted and it was mostly about the togetherness of the project anyway.
Here are some of the best tutorials we found:
Have fun! If you can, we’d love to hear how it goes. Comment below or send us pictures!
For fun orange-related products, click on over to our Christmas Oranges Collection.