Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A day at the Co-op.

At the homeschooling co-op Ivana is taking an Art class this year that is more like a real art class, rather than just crafts, as it was last year. So, the first project they are working on is a fall landscape using oil pastels. Here is her rough draft of the picture and today they were working on fine details to make the painting look more real. I can't wait for her to have a nice collection of new art work by the end of the year so we can frame it and put it up on a wall.
I was a substitute teacher in the Shakespeare class today and we continued learning about the Bubonic Plague and had a hands on activity by making Pomander Balls.
Because of a strong aroma, Pomander Balls were used by the Elizabethans and generations of people before them to ward off the plague and other diseases that they believed were caused by bad-smelling air. It was a traditional practice for people to carry these aromatic balls in their hands, in boxes, or in pockets for protection. Or people could attach them to chains and wear them around their necks or waists. Today, we know that diseases are not caused by smelly air. Nevertheless, we can still enjoy the Pomander Ball's sweet aroma!
Just in case you are wondering how to make them, here is the way:

  • Thick-skinned orange (or a lemon, grapefruit, lime)
  • Fork
  • 1 box of whole cloves
  • Bowl
  • Allspice, pumpkin pie spice, or 1 tablespoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • Ribbon, lace, or netting
Choose a thick-skinned fruit. With a fork, randomly poke holes into the fruit. The holes should not be so deep that the cloves fall in-you wan the cloves to show!
Fill the holes with cloves.
Put the fruit into a bowl and sprinkle the spices over it.
Keep the Pomander Ball in the bowl and let it dry and shrink for 2 weeks. The Pomander Ball should be kept in an open, sunny spot in your home throughout this period.
When the Pomander Ball has finished drying, it is time to decorate it with ribbons, lace, or netting and hang it anywhere in the house to make it smell absolutely delicious!
Now tell me, who needs Glade scented candles?

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