06 December 2010

Updates & Pomander Ball Recipe

This is what my closet currently looks
like. When they're finished drying,
I'll post more pictures.
I have one more week of classes, and then we’ll be watching Army beat Navy in Philadelphia, and then I have a week of exams, and then I finally get to go home for a few weeks for the holidays: a much-needed break. In this final week of classes, I have two papers to write and turn in by Friday, two tests to take, a design project as well as a problem set to complete and turn in for my Nuclear Engineering course, and on top of everything academic, we also have to attend a ton of mandatory “fun” events (to include watching our smartest students get demolished by our dumbest in a traditional student football game). Please forgive my utterance of a grossly over-used metaphor, but I’ve been burning the candle at both ends all semester. I’m definitely ready for a new year to shake things up and give me a chance to start anew.

To make everything all the more fitting, the drama I so carefully squeezed out of my life earlier this semester is back with a vengeance. Apparently, those I thought were successfully out of the picture have returned, desiring to suddenly hang out and catch up and see where things go now that it’s the worst possible time for me to be rekindling old relationships. It’s certainly not a good time for me to start any new ones (sorry, random dude I met at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party). I tried to de-drama for a reason. I don’t want any more of it seeping back into my life to confuse the hell out of me or make me overly emotional. If you’re confused, revisit the apparently most popular post, I Am Not Aphrodite. Not sure why that one has so many hits, of all my posts. Maybe it was the photo choice. Yeah, that must be it.

I finally finished making all my Christmas presents for my friends! Family is another matter, although they’re about half done. I would call them Yule presents, except that I’m pretty much the only Yule-celebrant around here, at least among those with whom I’m close enough to actually exchange gifts. I made pomander balls for my guyfriends and jewelry for my girlfriends, and, because I’m a good Pagan, I put a little love and a little magic into each and every one. I used to make pomander balls with my mom when I was little. As a result of the creation, my room smells fabulous. Because they’re a neat little holiday tradition, here’s a quick and easy—and, naturally, fun—recipe for pomander balls! And, you know, because there aren’t enough of these already on the internet.

(yes, “lots” and “shitton” are proper units of measurement):
1. Oranges. One orange = one pomander ball.
2. Pretty Ribbon. Fabric ribbon is better than traditional gift-wrapping ribbon, but you can use either.
3. Shitton of whole cloves (enough to stick as many as you want into each orange)
4. Lots of yummy spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but ginger is a nice additive as well).
5. A bowl that is larger in diameter than your orange.
6. Some extra twine or string. Something you won’t mind pitching afterwards.

1. Preparation! First and foremost, mix your spices in the bowl. Then, pick up an orange. Admire the orange. Breathe in the citrusy aroma of goodness. That, right there, is the scent of energizing and cleansing and yummy vitamin C.

2. Stick cloves in your orange. You can make a pattern out of the cloves; you can make their placement entirely random; whatever you feel like. You can use as many or as few cloves as you want. What I prefer to do, is to make two lines bisecting the orange, wide enough apart to fit a ribbon between when the orange is complete, and then I make another line bisecting the orange in another direction. If the orange is large enough, I will have two lines bisecting it one way, and two another way, to make little runways for two pieces of ribbon. See the illustration (courtesy my artistic skills and the Paint program) below for clarification.

3. Poke your orange full of tiny holes. Using a clove, or a large pin—I use a clove if I can, although if you’re on pomander ball number 21, by that point your fingers are pretty sore—and poke holes in the rind of the orange. A little juice will likely seep out; this is fine. The holes help the orange breathe later while it’s drying. It’s kinda pointless to poke holes in the area of the orange that will be covered by ribbon. See diagram below for further guidance. You can poke these in a pattern as well, but I tend to just do it randomly.

4. Roll the orange in your spice mixture! The spices should stick in the holes you poked in step 3, and then some, as shown in the lovely picture below.

5. Tie the string or twine around the orange and hang it in a dark, cool, dry space for 2-3 weeks. The orange will shrink and dry out during this time, and when it’s done, it’ll be a darker orange color as well. My pomander oranges are currently strung up in gift-wrapping ribbon, haphazardly pieced together, in my wardrobe closet.

6. Once the orange is dried and shrunken and smelling fabulous, take it out of the closet and tie a pretty fabric ribbon around it as shown in the diagram below. For hanging purposes, if you want to hang it in a window or a doorway or anywhere in a room to freshen things up, you can add more on top to create a loop. Mine are not completely dry yet, so I don’t have any final products to display, but when I make the complete set, I’ll be sure to snap a picture of them before I wrap them up and give them away. Happy Holidays!

No comments:

Post a Comment