Tuesday Treasure: Orange Pomander Artisan Potpourri

Image of Orange Pomander Artisan Potpourri

Orange Pomander Artisan Potpourri
{Click on image to view Etsy listing}

Have you ever tried making an orange pomander? It’s hard.

The traditional way is to stick cloves in an orange, and set to dry somewhere cool and dry. Rotate daily and wipe with a vinegar or bleach solution, to keep the mold away. Several months later, if you are lucky, you will have a yummy smelling orange pomander. That sounds like a lot of work.

The quick and easy way, the modern way, uses an oven. I tried this method a while back. I turned the oven to 250F, and I made 2 shallow slits in the orange, one on each side of the orange (to speed drying and for skewers). Then I stuck cloves in the orange. It was hard not to stick them so close that the holes ran together and the cloves fell out. I put the clove designs around the slits, too. Then I stuck the skewers through the slits and I laid the skewers across cake pans, trying to make sure the oranges didn’t touch the pans. I put them in the oven. I checked on them every half hour or so. Four or five hours later, the oranges seemed to have dried all the way through. The designs were ruined — the slits had opened up during baking. But I thought, well, I’ll keep them around, it’s not a bad first try. Better luck next time, right? Nope. There won’t be a next time, because within a week the pomanders were molding. Oops. I don’t want to waste more oranges.

But I’ll tell you what I did. I do know how to dry orange peel in an oven, so I took dried orange peel, and cloves, and a cinnamon stick, and I chopped, and I mixed, and I added orris root to keep it dry and tangerine essential oil to make it smell more citrus-y, and I let it all age in an old, clean jar for a few weeks. And it smells just like an orange pomander, so delicious and yummy, and it’s perfectly preserved. You can buy it in my Etsy shop. I did all the work for you, and there’s no danger of mold, and it will scent your room or car for you for a long time.

If oranges aren’t your thing, I have lots of other potpourris, like tropical pineapple and apple pie, just to name a couple, in the shop already, with more on the way.

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