Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

They say that smell and memory are closely linked, and that a good ol' factory sensor can bring back a childhood experience. Perhaps nothing does this for me like a batch of Mimi's Christmas potpourri. After returning from our road trip, it was the first thing on my mind; our house was musty and needed an instant injection of Christmas. This is such an easy way to bring the holidays right into your home, and with kitchen goods you likely have on hand. The little ones can help too (big B likes the cinnamon sticks).

INGREDIENTS: apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves
OPTIONAL ADD-INS: allspice berries, fresh ginger, nutmeg
STEP ONE: Wash and thickly peel the fruit, leaving plenty of meat on the rind. Do this over a medium saucepan to catch any drippings. Feed the apples and oranges to the kiddos, or chunk them up into the pot also.STEP TWO: Add 4 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon or so of cloves, and any optional ingredients to your liking.STEP THREE: add enough water to cover most of the ingredients (too much water dilutes the aroma, but too little risks burning; I often check the pot and add more as the day goes on).
bring to a boil, turn down to low, and enjoy a day's worth of deliciousness. I have been known to cheat and turn the same pot on the next morning; it's the gift that keeps on giving.

For a quick Christmas gift, basket up two apples, two oranges, four cinnamon sticks and a sachet of cloves and allspice berries. Print up a nice label with some instructions and spread some Christmas cheer!

(Some other scent-sory indulgences: When the season calls for splurging, my favorites are the Frasier Fir Collection from the Thymes, and the Winter Forest Pure & Green Collection from Williams Sonoma.)


Corynne Escalante said...

hhmm... funny you should post this today, since i've been wanting to make something like this and was gonna try to scour the web to find out how. thanks!

Mama Bird said...

Mmmmm... I'm going to put this together as a hostess gift for a holiday brunch I'm going to this Sunday. Thanks - I've been looking for an affordable, easy, homemade idea. Love it!

mindfullymotheringtwo said...

Yummy! I remember how this smells as one of my room mates long ago used to make this concoction all the time. So sweet and yummy. :)

Jessica said...

I always boil cinnamon sticks and cloves around the holiday time...since we can't have a real tree this makes it smell holiday-ish