My Favorite Mixture of Christmas Smells
Here are the “simmer pot ingredients” I assembled this holiday season for neighbors and friends.
Two small Halo oranges (quartered when you assemble the ingredients),
Two tablespoons of whole cloves,
Two tablespoons of whole anise,
Two or three 6-inch cinnamon sticks,
A sprig of fresh Rosemary
A few drops of Blood Orange Fragrant Oil. (from Wal-Mart)
The easiest and safest way to enjoy Christmas smells is to put the ingredients into a small slow-cooker along with two or three cups of water. If you release your “smells” in a little pan of water on the stove, you have to watch the pan quite carefully since the water can cook away even at a slow simmer. Once I put the ingredients into the water, I plug it in over and over during the holiday. I just add water as I need to. The smells are strong and if they begin to fade, I simply sprinkle a few more drops of the oil into the mix and forget about it.
Clove is the dominant smell but Anise plays a part. I especially love the way the Anise looks on top of the water and the oranges. It is such a fascinating little spice. I bought both the Cloves and the Anise from Amazon at a reasonable price for a large quantity when compared to the grocery store. I put each spice into a separate cellophane bag and closed each bag with a Christmas seal.
Cloves can be mixed with many things besides oranges and rosemary. Cloves are also a Thanksgiving smell and I never get tired of their aroma. For another Christmas simmer pot smell, try cloves with fresh Rosemary, Sage, Parsley and Thyme . . . just like the Simon and Garfunkel song. Or, try any type of spice including various fresh mints with a sliced lemon. There is no limit to the combination of smells that might waft through a home at Christmas Time or other holidays.
I put the little baskets into cellophane bags
and tied the tops with red twine and a tag.
( Herbs can be purchased all-year-long at Cook’s Greenhouse in Lindon, Utah.
You can snip them all winter long and they will grow back. Mine like the south-facing window sill.)