Tis the season to fill our homes with the smells of Christmas! Today I have an easy idea that can be prepared ahead so that you will be ready to infuse your home with all the scents of the season. That’s right, we’re making simmering potpourri jars!
To begin, round up some pint-sized jars with lids. These can be anything from Mason jars to old jelly jars. I had six jars left from a planted succulent project we did for my daughter’s bridal shower last June, so I used those. They were from the Target Dollar Spot and were only $3 for a two-pack, which was a great price for reeded glass jars with gold lids.
The longest part of this project was drying the citrus in the oven. Slice oranges, lemons or limes and place them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Place in a 200-degree oven for four to six hours, flipping every hour or so. Some of mine got a little overdone, so watch them carefully. When done, allow to cool on a paper towel. I would recommend doing these the day before and storing them in a zip lock bag with the top left open until ready to use.
Now comes the fun part! Gather items from the garden such as pinecones, rosemary, and evergreen clippings. Next, hit your spice cabinet for delicious smelling items such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise.
To give even more holiday scent, the pinecones can be infused with essential oils in orange, peppermint, or evergreen. You can also cover them with drops of vanilla extract. Whatever aromas say “Christmas” to you is what you should use.
To assemble, place the star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves in the bottom of the jar. On top of that, add a teaspoon of craisins for color and scent. Next, fill in the sides of the jar with a couple of citrus slices and the rosemary and evergreen sprigs. Fill in the gaps with the small pinecones, infused with oil. For mine, as a final flourish, I sprinkled some ground cinnamon on top before putting the lid on.
Finally, I added a little label and tied it on with twine. The label I used is downloadable from the blog On Sutton Place, or you can make one on your own to customize your ingredient list. To use, simply pour all of the dry ingredients into a saucepan with a few inches of water, bring to a simmer, and be prepared to have your house filled with all of the aromas of the Christmas season.
It goes without saying that the simmering potpourri jars can be customizable for the season, for example lavender sprigs for a springtime feeling. These jars would be great gifts for co-workers, or as a hostess gift when you are invited to someone’s home for a holiday gathering. And of course, you will want to have some on hand for your personal use, to grab and use as you entertain, decorate the tree, or make Christmas cookies. I encourage you to make some of these simmering potpourri jars today!