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Catholic Activity: Pomander

    Supplies

  • For each pomander:
  • 1 thin-skinned orange
  • whole cloves
  • powdered orrisroot
  • powdered cinnamon
  • tissue paper
  • ribbon
  • Prep Time

  • 1 hour and 5 weeks
  • Difficulty

  • • •
  • Cost

  • $$$ $
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We read that on New Year's Day Queen Elizabeth collected many gifts, a royal custom which sometimes was hard on her subjects, for each strove to outdo the other to win her favor, and she collected such rich offerings as caskets studded with jewels, bracelets, and mantles. But she received simpler gifts as well. There is a record of a box of foreign sweetmeats given her by her physician, ginger candy and lozenges from her apothecary, a box of green ginger from a friend, and "Mrs. Morgan brought a box of cherries and one of apricocks."

The lesser folk in Elizabeth's reign received gifts of gilt nutmegs and pomanders — an apple or an orange — "stikt round about with cloaves." These ingenious affairs were often hung in milady's room and sometimes put inside wine vessels to preserve wine from "foystiness." The name pomander was originally applied to a small case of silver which contained various aromatic scents. Here is a good way to make a pomander in our day.

DIRECTIONS

Take a small, thin-skinned orange and stick whole cloves into it until the surface is entirely studded. Roll the orange in powdered orrisroot and powdered cinnamon, patting on as much as you can. Wrap in tissue paper and put it away for several weeks. Remove the paper, shake off the surplus powder, and the pomander is ready for use. It can be hung up by a ribbon in a closet where it will retain its fragrance and aroma for years.

Activity Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

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