When decorating naturally for the holidays, don’t forget about pleasing your sense of smell. Making simple simmer scents is an easy way to take things up a notch. You can reuse the scents you make up to three times each by storing the liquid in your refrigerator between uses.
Here are some suggestions for combinations to simmer in a low pan on the stove or in your slow cooker.
– Cinnamon sticks and vanilla
– Thinly sliced lemons, vanilla extract and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
– Lemon slices, star anise, cinnamon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice
– Orange slices, nutmeg and cinnamon
– A handful of bay leaves, some pine or cedar twigs and nutmeg. If you have a whole nutmeg, use a microplane to grate off the outside and release the scent and then toss the whole nutmeg in to simmer; otherwise add about a teaspoon of pre-grated nutmeg.
While all of these ideas have a nice, holiday scent, you can use them in all seasons. Instead of throwing them in the compost pile, save citrus rinds, bits of ginger, herbs and expired juice from cooking and from the pantry and toss them in a sealed bag in the freezer. Pull them out any time you want to create a cozy mood in your home.