#90 – Christmas Crafts

#90 – Christmas Crafts

This is recipe roundup episode 90. It’s Christmas time and there is no shortage of delicious Christmas recipes! Just like with thanksgiving, everyone has the dishes that they hold near and dear to their hearts. Often, the holidays just feel like one long train of meals, so this week we are going to talk about some fun food related crafts that can break up the feast. 


The first one I’d like to talk about is pomander balls! All you need is some citrus fruit, whole cloves, and maybe a citrus peeler if you want to get really fancy with it. Historically, a pomander was any perfumed ball or bag – often used to help cover the stench of life. Between the lack of plumbing and decreased (or even the fear of) bathing of years past, there were many reasons to carry something that smelled nice on your person. Pomanders have served many practical and spiritual purposes throughout different eras and cultures. The ones we are talking about are a lovely craft to decorate your home for the winter with the bonus of smelling lovely!


Oranges are the most popular option, but other citrus may be used as well. Start by washing and drying your orange with soap. This helps get off any mold spores that might shorten the life of your ornament. Then, decide how you wish to decorate the fruit. You can do this as you go, or plan it all out beforehand. Pencils can help you draft on the orange before you commit to poking it with the cloves. You can make stripes with the citrus peeling if you are so inclined, you can make little faces out of the cloves, or you can even cover the entire fruit! Once you’ve decided what you want to do, carefully poke the stem of each clove into the skin of the orange so that just the little bulb of the clove remains outside. When you’ve completed your design, the pomanders can be displayed in a bowl or wrapped with a bow. 


The next craft is stringing cranberries and popcorn for your christmas tree or other decorations! This one is very straightforward, and generally requires a lot less artistic intent than pomander balls. While there should be adult supervision with children, if you are handy with a needle this is an easy way to zone out talking or watching Christmas movies while doing so. You’ll need a needle and thread, fresh cranberries and popcorn. I believe that thicker thread and needle help this process a lot! Think embroidery rather than stitching. If you want the garlands to look very neat, pierce the cranberry from end to end, using the little dot where the stem once connected as a guide. Opt for plain popcorn rather than any buttered variation to keep things from getting greasy. Continue to string on the cranberries and popcorn until you have a full garland, then use it to decorate!


There are so many other crafts that are perfect for this time of year. Cutting paper snowflakes, making paper chains, and decorating cookies are all great options to break up the parade of meals and spend quality time with your loved ones. 

You can find my recipes online at AlleghenyMountainRadio.org. If you have a recipe you’d like to share with the show, you can send it to sage@amrmail.org. For Recipe Roundup, this is Sage Tanguay.


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