Every year for Christmas I try to make old fashioned pomander balls: stud citrus fruits with cloves, roll in cinnamon, then put in a cool dark place for several weeks. But this climate is so hot and humid they always mold before the process is complete. I've tried putting them in a very low heat oven but they scorch and smell awful. Anyone have a solution?
How about if you re-think the process. The item that molds is the orange - so discard it and replace with a styrofoam ball. Cover the styrofoam with something that will permit cloves to penetrate (or pre-make the holes with a straight pin) and secure with a dab of special glue.
For the scent, go to a store (like Ulta or a health food store) and check out their aromatherapy essential oil selection. Right before you present the gift, mist it with the scent. Or soak the scent into the styrofoam (unless it crunbles the foam - must investigate).
The alternative is to buy at great expense some potpourri dried fruit and stick the cloves into these - but this is probably going to cost more $$$ than it's worth.
How about a small crocheted doily wrapped around a styrofoam ball, the ball being first covered in red Saran Wrap. Then do the scenting and give.
Maybe use a food dehydrator?
Try using your micro wave. I have done it and it does work. I microwave the pomeranda in 20 second intervals that way you can control how dy it gets and it doesnot scorch.
Maybe putting them in a food dehydrator on the lowest temperature would work. I live in southern California where the climate is dry and relatively warm year round, So I haven't tried this myself.
We used to use silica to dry them out, like you use to dry out flowers. We'd get it at craft stores, they even have food grade. Anything very dried out won't look as pretty. Also try covering the whole orange with cloves till it dries then remove some the cloves preserve it.
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