This morning I took one of the mandarin oranges Kish buys for the holidays and attacked it with a full arsenal of whole cloves. You push the pointy ends of the cloves through the soft skin of the fruit, covering the entire outer surface. The cloves and the citrus juices from the skewered orange then interact, producing a fine, delicate, spicy scent that leaves the kitchen smelling wonderful.
The clove orange is one of the things — liking baking cookies, listening to holiday music, or “surprising” Kish with the inevitable gift of a new word-a-day calendar — that says Christmas to me. Thanks to Aunt Corinne, who first acquainted me with this holiday tradition.