Originally Posted by kate42
I made one several years ago and it got really moldy really fast. How long should it last?
This is what I found.SPICY FRUIT POMANDERS
Originally small filigree balls of gold, silver, or ivory filled with fragrant spices and an ambergris fixative, pomanders (from the French pomme d'ambre, or apple of ambergris) were used as early as the Middle Ages, when they were worn to ward off unpleasant odors. Today's version of the pomander is made by studding a piece of fruit with cloves and curing it in a mixture of ground spices with orrisroot as a fixative.
Pomanders are lovely holiday gifts. Not only do they make fragrant decorations that can be hung from ribbons or arranged in bowls, but when placed in closets, they help keep woolens moth-free.
A pomander's scent usually lasts for several years, but can be refreshed by dipping the pomander in warm water, then rolling it in fresh spices to which a drop or two of cinnamon or clove oil has been added. Leave the pomander in the mixture for a few days then use as before.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT • 6 to 8 assorted firm, thin-skinned apples, oranges, lemons, and limes
•1/2 pound whole, large-headed cloves with strong scent
• 1/4 cup ground cinnamon • 1/4 cup ground cloves
• 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons ground all spice • 1/4 cup powdered orrisroot
•Nut pick or slender knitting needle for piercing fruit (optional)
• Ribbon (optional) • Small paintbrush
- Hold a piece of the fruit firmly, without squeezing. Insert the cloves at 1/8- to 1/4- inch intervals in rows (or at random) over the surface; the fruit will shrink as it dries, closing up the spaces. (If you have difficulty inserting the cloves, you can pierce the fruit first with the point of a nut pick or knitting needle, but take care to keep the holes small or the cloves will fall out when the fruit dries.) If you intend to hang your pomanders from ribbons, you can leave a 1-inch "path" around the fruit to provide a channel to keep the ribbon in place.
- Blend the spices the orrisroot in a small bowl. One at a time, roll each piece of fruit in the mixture, coating it generously to keep air out. (Any pomander you start should be completed to this point within twenty-four hours to eliminate the possibility of mold forming.)
- Place the spice-coated fruit in a large bowl, cover with spice mixture, and set in a warm, dry place to dry. Turn the fruit daily, making sure the spices are evenly distributed. Drying can take from two weeks to a month, depending on the size of the fruit. The pomanders will be hard when they are completely dry.
- Remove the pomanders from the spice mixture and dust off the excess with the brush. Tie with ribbon, if desired.