Oranges would have been a rare delicacy in 1802, but as the owner of the mercantile, William Beekman would surely have been able to procure some for special occasions (and certainly Joanna would have wanted to show off a bit to her guests—what good hostess doesn’t?)
Our oranges cost only $3.99 a dozen, but we found a way to turn them into a rare delight for New Years Eve. How? Glad you asked…
Cut orange through the middle. Oranges are very pliable, so you can shape it into a nice sphere and also press it down on the table to flatten the bottom so that it will stand nicely when the project is done.
Use a knife to separate the meat of the orange from the rind. We find that a grapefruit knife works best.
Use a spoon to scoop out the meat.
The cleaner you can get the rind, the less moisture and mess you’ll have later on. Be sure to save the edible part of the orange. It comes in handy for juicing – especially if the votives are for New Years Eve, as ours were. Think Mimosas on New Years morning…
Cut a hole in the center of the top of the orange to allow smoke to escape the votive. We used a small round biscuit cutter, but stars or other cookie cutter shapes would also be festive.
Place a votive in the bottom half and then rejoin the two halves
We decorated the crown of the orange with whole cloves to match the garland we had strung earlier. Set the votive in the center of a plate to provide support and eliminate messes.
Votives adorned the grand piano during the concert. As the votive heated the orange peel and cloves, their fragrance filled the music room.
Orange you glad you asked?