Friday, December 05, 2008

Holiday Herbal Gift Series #5 Simmering Potpourri

This craft is pleasant to work with as well as it is to give. The shot below is from our display at Frog Hollow Evergreens. Making simmering potpourri is simple and you can make it as complex or straightforward as you like. It can depend on what you have available. The sources listed yesterday can help you out, or you can find many ingredients at the grocery store!
We use the 3" x 4" muslin bags to keep everything together when it simmers. They can be found in cooking shops, but they are optional.
To begin, eat an orange. Keep the peel. See how much fun this is? Chop the peel coarsely into roughly the same sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Set the oven on "warm" and dry the orange peel. Your house will smell great.
Next, to the grocery store. If you have a discount grocery that sells big jars of spices, you may find the ingredients pretty cheaply. Some to look for: Cinnamon pieces or sticks, allspice, whole nutmegs, cloves, dried slices of ginger, and coriander. Pepper berries can go in there too - especially if you have the green and pink. Some ingredients that are harder to find and may require a visit to the herb shop are: Rose hips, star anise, juniper berry and cardamom pods.
When you've gathered all the spices, begin mixing. Set a pot of water to boiling so that you can test as you go. Additionally, you can mix a few drops of various essential (or fragrance) oils into the blend. Maybe for a winter blend you'd add some balsam fir scent or a blast of orange. It is hard to put together a bad batch.

And of course let me take a moment to recommend The Essential Herbal magazine or any of our fabulous books!


Anonymous said...

All your ideas are fantastic (especially that Deluxe Almond Bark). Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

Targuia said...

All these spices seems o give an amazing perfume,
But I didn't understood the last step, what we do exactly when the water boil, how much water we use, how many time we let them in,
Thank you very much!

Tina Sams said...

Put a tablespoon or two of the spices into a quart of water to simmer gently on the stove. Add water as it evaporates. When the aroma lessens, change the spices.