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Pomanders were originally metal or ivory filigree balls filled with spices fixed with ambergris, hence the name (from the French "pomme d'ambre", or apple of ambergris). Having a bowl of these fragrant oranges (or lemons) near an entryway or on a kitchen table is one of my favorite and easiest holiday decorating traditions. Prep time depends on how the size of the fruit; the smaller, the quicker it will harden and dry. P.S. - don't eat 'em - they're just for fragrance!
- Combine the spice mix ingredients.
- Wash oranges.
- Insert cloves into oranges in a decorative pattern (stripes, swirls, whatever strikes your fancy!).
- Roll cloved oranges in the spice mixture within 24 hours and set in a warm place to dry, turning fruit daily.
- Drying takes from two weeks to possibly a month.
- Pomanders are completely dry when they are hard.
- Remove pomanders from the spice mix, dust off a little, and tie with decorative ribbons. Set out in a bowl, or you can use as Christmas ornaments.