It’s the season again to come in from the cold and dark nights to warm houses filled with family and friends. The holidays are a time where many are busy entertaining and being entertained, so much so that it may be hard to catch your breath. When you do fill up your lungs with air, the aroma of fresh evergreens, warm roasts, and simmering cider on the stove announces that it is holiday season.
Simmering spices are any combination of fragrant botanicals or herbs added to water to steam and release fragrance. The easiest way to do this is on the stovetop, but you can also use a crock pot or even small electric warmer and a mason jar. The combination of scents is up to you and your mood. Try what you have on hand, the odds are that you already like it.
For chilly evenings spent warming up in front of the fire I combined dried orange peel, clove, cinnamon, and bay leaves in this blend I call “It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas”.
For afternoons sipping hot cocoa after some much needed play time in the cool air outside I like blended eucalyptus, peppermint, star anise, and freshly snipped evergreens makes also known as “It’s Like Snowflakes Melting on your Nose”.
To make simmering spices, add the dry ingredients to a pot of boiling water then turn it down to a simmer. You can leave the concoction on the stove all day by topping up the water when it gets low. Your home will smell like the holidays in no time!
Simmering spices also make simple but unique holiday gifts. Adding the dry ingredients into a pretty mason jar, topping it with a personalized label and adding a tag with the instructions is all it takes. If you make a bunch they will be on hand for last minute hostess gifts and make great stocking stuffers.
More homemade gift ideas from Stephanie:
Candy Cane Lip Balm Squirrely Dog Cookies Soy Tin Candles Herb Infused Vinegars
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