The air in our homes can grow stale during the cold-weather months; the windows are kept shut to keep the cold breeze out as we remain indoors for longer periods of time. One of my favourite ways to remedy this problem is an easy trick I learned from my grandmother – create a simmer pot of potpourri using a few basic ingredients you already have in your home.
Get together a few leftover fruit peels, like apple, and your favourite baking spices and in minutes, your home will be enveloped in a sweet-smelling aroma that will have everyone thinking you’ve been baking up a storm. Much cheaper than scented candles, this trick is a lovely, natural alternative to many of the synthetic scents and sprays in stores. It’s also an excellent way to use up any fruit or spices that are a bit past their prime.
Create a sweet aromatic scent in just three easy steps:
1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to boil.
2. Add your favourite ingredients and bring to boil for a few minutes.
3. Turn the heat down to low and leave the pot to simmer.
* Remember to top up with more water to avoid the pot burning dry. Set the timer on your stove to 30 minutes each time you add more water as a reminder to yourself. And remember, do not leave the house or go to bed before turning off the stove!
Here are a few combinations of ingredients to try:
1. Apple or orange peels, whole cloves, a few drops of vanilla.
2. Apple or cranberry juice, cinnamon sticks, star anise, one or two bay leaves.
3. Bay leaves, whole or ground cloves, cinnamon.
4. A few sprigs of evergreen or pine needles, lemon and orange peels, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 bay leaves, and a few whole cloves.
5. Fresh rosemary, lemon peels, star anise, whole cloves.
Have fun creating a combination that suits you. Mix and match ingredients according to what you have on hand or until you find your favourite blend.
Have you tried a simmer pot in your home? What were your favourite ingredients?