Cooking for the smells

12 Dec

I’m from the Northern Hemisphere.  Not that we actually had winter but Christmas in temperate countries have always been associated with flurries of snow, a warm fire place with a nice fire burning and a mug of hot chocolate.  But it’s the opposite in Australia.  Or at least it is supposed to be.  Right now, temperatures have been sub 20s with rain and winds.

Anyhow, I suddenly felt that I needed to have something smelling all warm and comforting for the Yuletide season.  The hubs is extremely sensitive to cheap potpourri with their manufactured “scents” and he’d balk at expensive ones especially since bubs is likely to destroy it all.  So I resorted to cooking up my own potpourri.

It definitely doesn’t have the overpowering smell of commercial potpourri but it is scenting the window side subtly and looks pretty standing there!  I like this combination but it is terribly personal.  Find some combination you like and try it out at home!

Potpourri

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

1 lime, sliced thinly

1 lemon, sliced thinly

Caster sugar

1 tbs of whole cloves

1/2 tsp of ground cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

2 star anise

1/2 tsp of ground star anise

1 – 2 drops of Lemon essential oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Coat the finely sliced lime and lemons with caster sugar and place in 1 layer on the baking tin.
  4. Bake the lemons and lime for 2.5h until the skin is dry and flesh translucent.
  5. Stir all the ground spices together.
  6. Stir in all the ingredients together except the essential oil.
  7. Add the essential oil one drop at a time to the mixture, mixing thoroughly each time.

Tips

  1. I didn’t have oranges but they would make a lovely display!  Especially blood oranges!
  2. Use fresh citrus fruits that are firm to make slicing easier especially if you don’t have a mandolin.
  3. The essential oils and spice powders make the smell stronger but the powders tend to “shed”.  The glass container you use may start to show this.  Don’t use a basket!
  4. Keep the potpourri away from moisture.  Otherwise the citrus fruits start to stick onto everything and deteriorate!
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2 Responses to “Cooking for the smells”

  1. theordinarycook December 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    What a great idea. That sounds like it might smell heavenly.

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