These unusual cardamom pear place card holders deliver a lovely spicy-sweet scent, and look stunning arranged along the center of a set holiday table.
Choose ripe, but not overripe, pears so their skins are just soft enough for the pods to be pushed through. You can, if you prefer, omit the twigs and rest small cards with handwritten menus in between the pods at the top of each pear.
Much food produce is now heavily packaged, which is costly and usually unnecessary. Try to buy your pears loose, and choose a simply packaged bag of cardamom pods to avoid any wasteful plastic packaging.
Select a pear and press the pointed end of a cardamom pod gently into the flesh. Press more pods in as closely to each other as possible.
Continue to gently press the pods into the pear flesh until the skin is covered completely in pods.
Once covered, the pear should be able to stand upright unaided. Leave a small gap in the top of the pear and insert the twig.
Tear a small rectangle of paper and write a guest's initials on it. Rest the paper between the "V" shape of the twig. Then make up more pears.
Excerpted from A Greener Christmas
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2008