Do your pomanders last over 20 years or turn squishy before Christmas is over?
These of mine are 23 years old!
Want to know the secret?
Step into my kitchen ell and I'll share the secret to pomanders that last.
My kitchen ell used to be the back porch of this farmhouse,
and it was the second location of four this house has known.
In 1920 when the house was built, the kitchen was in what is now a bedroom.
Then the porch was enclosed and where you can see the old wood icebox
was where the stove once stood.
My secret for pomanders that last is from this old December 1949 issue of
Woman's Day from an article titled "Minerva and the Pomanders"
by Marguerite Ferguson.
The cover is a scene in Waterford, Vermont.
I have too much arthritis in my hands now to do this fiddly work anymore
but would love to see this craft passed down to others.
The first secret is that each fruit you use for your pomander
requires a special companion spice.
The largest fruit here is a quince and its companion spice is Allspice.
This is an orange and its companion spice is Orrisroot.
For an apple the companion spice is Cinnamon.
I didn't use a lemon but its companion spice is Powdered Clove.
A lime calls for grated Nutmeg.
I did make a kumquat, this tiny pomander.
Use Orrisroot for kumquats.
Here are the instructions:
1) With a darning needle [I used an ice pick], puncture the fruit and fill the hole with
a clove, leaving its head above the surface.
Clove heads must just touch. Do not put in straight lines or the fruit will split.
2) Sift the companion spice over the fruit.
3) Cut cheesecloth into large squares, lay fruit in center, and pull corners together;
tie with white twine and hang from cup hooks out of sunlight.
4) Let hang 6 weeks to season well. Two will do but the real secret to their longevity
is letting them hang for 6 weeks with good air circulation.
Please don't store your pomanders away after Christmas.
Put them in a pretty bowl with good air circulation and your pomanders will last...forever?
Now you know the secret!
Pomander comes from the French pomme d'ambre.
Ambre=ambergis (the fragrant, waxy substance from the sperm whale).
The author of the article said to hang a pomander from a bedpost.
"Pomanders induce restful, healing sleep."