Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cloved (not cloven) Apples & Oranges

This was a project that I got interested in when we had a great bounty of apples in the house. Shortly after, we had a bunch of oranges & lemons. With the abundance of fruit in the house, I wanted to make some sort of craft on top of all the cooking.

To do this, you'll need some fruit, but avoid using anything too juicy, like peaches or plums. Citrus is ideal because it has a thick skin that keeps the finished product fresher. Both apples and oranges ended up giving off a great smell. Unfortunately, the yummy smell only lasted a couple days and then the apples started to rot. Maybe because Florida is so warm and humid, even in the winter, but I was disappointed when after only a couple days, the apples seemed to be attracting fruit flies. I read something that purported the exact opposite would happen, that the cloved fruits would keep flies away.

A quick note about their name, cloved vs cloven. Cloven is the condition of having split hooves, like a goat. Cloved is the condition of being studded with the little dried flower blossoms that are cloves.

You'll need the fruit, of course, and the cloves. As for hardware, you'll want a pen, something sharp & pointy (I used a corncob holder), possibly a thimble, and finally a length of ribbon or something to hang it with (I arranged these all together with a couple leftover fruits on a dish & put it on the table for a centerpiece).

Draw your design on the fruit with the pen. Try to remember to leave a place where the ribbon will go.

Use your sharp & pointy instrument to trace the pictures with little holes. Do only two or three holes at a time to start with until you know about the size each clove will require.

Use your thumb (possibly covered with a thimble, cause this starts to hurt after awhile) to press the cloves into the holes. Sometimes the flower bud will break off. I used these for stuff like the feet, beak and eyes of my owl or the center stem of my leaves.

This was even fun for my six-year-old to do. He drew the design, I helped poke the holes, and he did the cloves. Ensure the cloves are pressed far enough into flesh so they won't fall out. Our fruit became a bit withered and the cloves started to seem to come out anyway; I pressed them back in on the third day, but by about the fifth they needed thrown away.

There's a game that goes along with this. I read about it on (where else?) the internet in a couple places. Basically, you stud your apple with a handful of cloves and give it to someone you want a kiss from. They remove a clove in any of a series of ways (hand or teeth) and this is an invitation for the kiss. If no clove is removed, no kiss. That's the basic premise that I got from it, but it really just sounds like a good way to make everyone get mono.

Final verdict: don't bother unless you only want them for a day. I wasn't even going to post this, ha!
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