Christmas Simmer

This time of year is full of delicious smells, most of which invoke magical memories from childhood.  Growing up, my mother always kept a pot of water simmering away on the back eye of the stove.  She did this to make the air less dry, and to make the house smell cozy and delicious.  She would often throw a cinnamon stick, cloves and some halved oranges into the water, and the whole house would be filled with a wonderful Christmasy scent.  (She would also often forget that this pot of water was going, and we would frantically have to refill the pot when we heard the hissing of an empty pot on the stove…I say this because you need to keep an eye on it to make sure the water hasn’t completely evaporated, and ensure you remember to turn this off if you leave the house.)

This year, I’m bringing back this tradition but putting a little twist on it.  Here is what you need to make your house smell yummy and help keep that essential moisture in the air (two birds, one stone!):

What You’ll Need

-a pot or teapot (I’m using my white dutch oven because it’s pretty)
-a handful of fresh cranberries (I have some stashed around a candle on the dining table, so I had some laying around)
-2 cinnamon sticks
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
-2 clementines, halved (or oranges, but I had clementines on hand)
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or a sprinkling of cloves, but unfortunately I don’t have any at the moment)

Note: feel free to adjust the recipe according to what you have on hand.  You never know, you may come up with a fantastic new creation…and if that’s the case you’ll have to let me know about it!

What to Do

-Throw everything into a pot and then add water.  I filled mine so that the dutch oven was just under half full.  You can add less water to make the scent more concentrated, but you’ll have to refill the water more quickly.
-Put the pot on the stove and set to a low simmer.
-Enjoy the festive scent and rehydrate your dry skin!

The only problem with this is that the smell starts to make you hungry after a while…and makes you wish your mom was baking some delicious Christmas treats!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. December 9, 2014 / 7:27 pm

    I just happen to have all of those ingredients in my pantry! I think I'm going to go make some right now!

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