February 1, 2012

Simmering Potpourri

What a wonderful way to chase away the stagnant air of the winter house. Do you want to try it?
Here is the recipe:

Chop and dry peels of:
1/2 large orange
1/2 large lemon
Mix with 1 broken cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
Simmer in 2 cups water.

We dry our orange peels on the corn burner stove. (Similar to a wood stove) While they are drying they leave a citrus fresh scent in the house. You could dry them in the oven on a cookie sheet with just the pilot light or they will dry very nicely just on the counter if they have good air circulation. It is important that as much of the white pith as possible be peeled away before you start to dry. It helps the peels to dry more quickly.

I usually pick up the cinnamon sticks after Christmas at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The price is often greatly reduced. They do not need to be food quality so it is easy to get craft quality cinnamon stick. Cinnamon stick is very hard and breaking it into smaller pieces might be a little challenging. I usually use something to help me break it apart. Often I use a nut pick that I can insert into the shaft of the cinnamon stick and apply enough pressure to break the stick into smaller pieces.

I use cloves and bay leaves that I get in the bulk food section of our local dry goods store.
I usually gather all of the ingredients and hand mix them. I like the fragrance in the house while I am mixing the dry goods. I use the recipe only for a guide line for ratios of ingredients and interchange what ever citrus peels I have dried at the time.

This batch of Simmering Potpourri is going to a craft show soon. I thought that because it is just before Valentine's day it would be fun to package it appropriately. I have a thing for reusing whenever it is possible. I have been saving the red mesh bags that onions and other produce come in because they looked useful and I was fairly certain they wouldn't compost very well (not at all).

I sewed small individual bags to put the potpourri in. I found that a very narrow short zig zag stich seemed to work best. I made all of the seams then cut the bags apart.

Here it is ready to give as a gift or as a token of your affection.The red and white gingham ribbon is a sweet little touch, don't you think?

You can simmer the potpourri in a pan on top of the stove, or corn burner, or in a simmering potpourri burner. It will smell wonderful which ever way works best for you.