Monday, December 08, 2008

We need a little Christmas right this very minute

Our home is currently in a state of flux. All the fall holiday stuff is taken down, but the Christmas related decorations are still a bit meager -- the tree is out with nothing but a star atop it, no wreath on the door yet, etc., etc. SO! It is time to work some minor holiday alchemy as taught me by my wise and nifty mother. No dollar-store potpourri here!

How to Make Your House Smell Like Christmas
(by Soozcat's Talented Mom)
  1. In a small pot, assemble the following: the peel of an orange, ten to twelve whole cloves, one or two cinnamon sticks, and as many green cardamom pods as you can afford. (If you have only powdered spices, you can certainly use them instead, and I've also had good results from adding some fresh or dried ginger to the pot. It should look like this:)
  2. Cover with a few inches of water.
  3. Place pot over the fire and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, bring it down to a slow simmer.
That's it. You can carry it around the house if you want it to waft its spicy citrusy scent everywhere. Just don't keep it on a high boil or leave it unattended, because it can boil itself dry and you'll lose your pot. Do not ask me how I know this. :(

This little trick smells SO good. You can fiddle with the spices a bit, and you can also use the peel from an apple instead, but try this combination first. It will last for several days; just keep topping up the water and bringing it back to a boil.

By the way, if you're looking for a source of inexpensive whole spices and there is an Indian grocery anywhere near you, hie you thence immediately. Bulk spices from India smell wonderful and cost far less than those pernicious little jots of spice they sell in tiny glass jars for alarming prices at the supermarket.


Chesno Slova said...

I also like to quarter a lemon and throw it in for good measure. It really adds a lot to the mix. Makes you feel like you're walking around in a vaporized tank of wassail.

tlc illustration said...

We do essentially the same thing - I just keep making the kids toss in their clementine peels and apple cores as they eat them, and continue to top with spices. Plus sometimes a dash of vanilla.