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Every fall I make a pot of apple cider on the stove. Several times each season actually. The cinnamon, cloves, apples and oranges simmering in the fragrant cider is enough to make you drool! It fill our small house with the scrumptious scent of fall.
I can only make so many batches of this apple cider, yet I absolutely love the smell of it around the house. So what’s the solution? I noticed our neighbor had a really nice idea to keep their house smelling great throughout the colder months. They have a wood stove that provides the living room with a warm, cheery fire. It also gets really warm on top, making it perfect for simmering potpourri.
As much as I love the warmth and atmosphere of a wood stove, they make me a bit nervous. I’m always afraid the toddler is going to fall into the side and get a major burn. So while I won’t be investing in a woodstove in the near future, I can still have a fragrant potpourri on my stove at home.
If you don’t want to keep your burner on for long periods of time, this is also the perfect way to use that tiny crockpot your great aunt June gave you for your wedding. I’ve always wondered what in the world anybody did with one of those. Maybe you’ve already found a use for yours, so this is just a bonus for you.
I’m sure you could even use a regular, large crockpot if you wanted to. Mine always seems to be tied up with easy chicken broth, or a make ahead meal as part of my easy meal plan . I’ve seriously thought about just getting two crockpots since I’m constantly using mine! I actually started off married life with two crockpots but I gave one away thinking, “what kind of crazy person needs two crockpots?” Well, I guess I am little crazy.
A candle warmer will also work to some degree, but I really don’t recommend it unless you’re simply trying to scent a very small area, like an office. There’s just not enough heat under there to do too much with this recipe.
This can be a very versatile recipe and you can really make it anything you want. I like mine to have a very heavy, spicy smell, so I use lots of clove. My husband absolutely hates ginger, so I (usually) leave it out of the mix.
You can also use fresh or dried fruit for this. Because we’re in the throes of apple season right now you may not want to waste any of your precious crop to a potpourri. This can be made ultra frugal though if you use the apple peels and cores leftover from making your applesauce, apple butter, or whatever else your kitchen has brewing up.
You can really make this however you want. Spicier smelling if that’s your preference, or loads of citrus if that’s your thing.
I haven’t done it yet myself, but the leftover apple peels can also be thrown into the dehydrator for use throughout the season. These dried peels can easily be mixed with the citrus peels and spices and store for an extended period.
Looking for a unique, one of a kind Christmas gift? Put a few scoops of DIY simmering potpourri in a fancy bag and attach a gift card that contains instructions. There’s nothing better than giving the gift of a fantabulous smelling house.
- A crockpot (I love this crockpot) or pot
- 3 cups water (or enough to cover the fruit and spices)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 oranges cut into wedges or 1 cup dried orange peel or 2 cups fresh orange peel
- ¼ cup grated or thinly sliced fresh ginger or 2 Tbs. dried ground ginger
- 1 quart water (or enough to cover the fruit and spices)
- 2 apples cut into slices or 1 cup dried apple peel or 2 cups fresh peels and/or cores, organic if possible
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 2 Tbs. whole cloves or 1½ Tbs. ground cloves (I think whole have a stronger scent and I love these cloves)
- 2 cups water (or enough to cover the fruit and spices)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 apples cut into slices or 1 cup dried apple peel or 2 cups fresh peels and/or cores
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbs. whole cloves or ½ Tbs. ground cloves (cloves like this)
- 1 Tbs. ground cardamom (these cardamom pods are fantastic)
- 1 Tbs. ground ginger or fresh grated ginger
- ¼ cup brown sugar or raw cane sugar (here's a favorite fair-trade, raw, organic sugar)
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a saucepan or crockpot and heat on low. Adjust measurements to your preference
- Add more liquid as needed as it evaporates.
- Discard after awhile if the mix starts to smell or look "off." I've never done one for more than a week.