Making orange pomanders is a Christmas tradition we look forward to every year. These aromatic decorations are fun for gift-giving, hanging around the house or simply filling a bowl on the table.
All you need are some oranges (although any citrus fruit will work), whole cloves (I bought a bulk jar years ago at Sam’s Club, and they’re still quite pungent) and perhaps some ribbon.
We’ve also found that push pins come in handy. We use them to puncture the peel before inserting the cloves, and that makes the process much easier.
Mmm, the kitchen smells so good right now. When the spicy cloves come into contact with the oils from the orange peel, it releases the most delicious fragrance.
These will stay fresh for a week or so, so we try not to make them too far in advance when giving as gifts. If you must make them ahead, they’ll keep longer if you refrigerate them to prior to giving.
It’s another very snowy day here, so I thought we’d have some snowflake fun (and education) today—in addition to the outdoor kind, that is.
The kids are busy cutting out beautiful snowflakes, which are a far cry from the kind I used to make as a child. It sure helps to have tried and true patterns. These will be pretty on the windows.
We’ll also be reading a wintertime favorite, Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. It’s an engaging story of one boy’s eccentricity and perseverance which continued into his adulthood. Thanks to him, we can better appreciate the design and beauty of snowflakes.
You may want to visit the Official Snowflake Bentley Web Site where you can learn more about the man; or the Bentley Snow Crystal Collection of the Buffalo Museum of Science which showcases over 150 of his original snowflake photographs, and no two are alike. Breathtaking!
I do hope that in all Wilson A. Bentley’s decades of study he marveled at the Designer behind the designs which so fascinated him. I haven’t discovered the answer to that question yet (I haven’t researched it either), and most modern books wouldn’t tell that side of the story even if it was there to be told. What a pity it would be to be so taken with nature that you miss out on the Creator behind it. Yet, sadly, it happens all around us, doesn’t it?
Does anyone happen to know if Christian beliefs were an impetus to his research?
One last activity I found in my “snowflake” file is one the younger ones will enjoy. Have the children draw outdoor pictures on colored construction paper. Then make a solution of half Epsom salts and half water for them to paint their pictures with. As the paper dries, sparkling crystals will be left on the papers. I think we’ll give this one a try.