You Should Definitely Make: Pomanders

My grandmother taught me how to make pomanders – clove studded oranges – when I was in elementary school. I remember making my first one so that literally no bit of orange was peeking out between the cloves! And of course she let me. That pomander had some ribbon attached and hung in the doorway to her hallway for years to come. No, they aren’t really supposed to be around for that long, but it was nice she found it so special.

So, making a pomander is quite simple. All you need is an orange, some whole cloves, and a poking device (like a toothpick or fork). The design possibilities are endless – I like to keep mine a little more simple these days. Just poke your design into the orange rind to make inserting the cloves a little more easy and you’re off! Sometimes I like to use the back of a spoon to help push the cloves into the orange if the skin is especially thick. You can either add a ribbon like my Grandma did and hang somewhere, or pile a few in a bowl.

A few weeks after making your pomanders you’ll start to notice the fruit drying out around the areas you’ve cloved, it will discolor slightly but that doesn’t mean they’re going bad! In fact they’ll last all season and then some.

Happy Pomandering!

  • daria

    December 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm Reply

    these are nice & the story is very nice 🙂 I bet they smell wonderful around the house. haven’t heard of them before, but I might try and make one.

  • Melissa

    December 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm Reply

    how do you attach the ribbon?? i remember making these as a kid, but i don’t remember how we did that part.

    • Kelly

      December 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm Reply

      we used to wrap it around the orange like you were wrapping a present, then use a thumbtack to secure it on the bottom.

  • Laura Trevey

    December 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm Reply

    Made these!!! They are so easy and fun.

  • jamie brunner

    December 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm Reply

    Added note, from someone who can’t draw a straight line: put a rubberband around the orange as a guide for where to place the cloves. Putting a line of cloves of each side of the rubberband is especially attractive. Just remember to remove it when finished… 😉

    • Kelly

      December 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm Reply

      Thanks for the tip, Jamie! That would make it super easy.

  • Melissa

    December 26, 2012 at 11:03 am Reply

    Oh wow! My grandmother and I used to make these when I was little too! I didn’t know they had a name. And we used to cover the ENTIRE orange. My thumbs would be so calloused and red by the end. Wish I would have thought about the toothpick trick back then. 🙂

  • Marek

    December 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I use them when I’m making wassail. They really do make all the difference!

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