Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Stovetop Simmer

If I walk into a place and it smells good, I instantly assume that whoever 
is responsible for where I am really has their shit together. 
Because the air controls smells. 
If you can make all of the air smell good, you are kind of the boss of the air. 
And that sounds really, really hard. 

It's something that only storybook grandmas that live in log cabins and Martha Stewart
know how to do, and the secret is going with them to their graves.

Well, for all of you poor souls with dwindling hope of ever achieving such aromatic successes,
wipe those tear stains off of your Yankee Candle catalogue. 
I have great news. 
I found a trick.

Simmering stovetop potpourri. 

I know that you're disappointed that the word "stovetop" 
wasn't immediately followed by "Kraft brand Stuffing in a box"
and that potpourri comes bearing the
connotation of 
"that dried up flower stuff that old people keep by their toilets."

But listen.

This stovetop potpourri is like an air Nazi. 
Keep it simmering on your stove for the afternoon
and it will reign over all of the air in your entire house.
It has serious powers. 
Everything will smell like Christmas and
every person who walks into your home will say
"Everything smells like Christmas."

This is the perfect thing to make people think that you have your life together.

Nobody is going to think
 "This girl's house smells amazing, I'll bet she just learned how to write a check."
"This girl's house feels like sticking my nose in Christmas, she probably 
had to instill a personal rewards system to get herself to shower regularly."

Nope. There are no thoughts beyond the "put together" one.

The best thing about this is that it is ridiculously simple.
You pretty much just take a laundry list of good smelling things,
put them in a pot and let them do their thing.
It can also be changed up for different holidays and seasons by putting
different spices, fruits and aromatics in it.


1 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger
2 oranges, cut in half
1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean + 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup. apple cider
3 c. water
1-2 pine branches

Combine all ingredients in a sturdy pot. 
Simmer on low heat, adding water as needed.


-When you first put it on, it looks marvelous.
After simmering all day, it looks like a pot full of mud with sticks in it.
Do not be alarmed. We can't all stay pretty forever.
It'll still smell good.

-Keep adding water!!
This bad boy loses liquid pretty quickly. Keep stocking the pot
with water to keep everything from burning, and thusly
negating the whole "this person has their shit together"

-If the scent weakens, you can add more vanilla extract 
or more cider to lift it back up again. However, you likely won't need to. 
The scent lasts a LONG time. I simmered mine for 9 hours before 
I felt the need to add anything to it. 

-People are going to try to drink it.
Don't let people try to drink it. 

Until the next, dears!

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