Christmas Potpourri

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The aroma of warm spices and fresh citrus join festive cranberries in this colorful, easy-to-make mix that is perfect for gift giving.

The aroma of warm spices and fresh citrus join festive cranberries in this colorful, easy-to-make mix that is perfect for gift giving.

 

 

 

A thoughtful person by the name of Anne Besterman is to thank for this festive recipe, which although made of edible ingredients, is not intended for consumption.

Christmas potpourri rather, is a mixture of fruit and spices that simmers on the stovetop, producing a warm, fragrant aroma. 

Since Anne shared the recipe with me, I have made several batches. It takes only a minute to assemble the ingredients, and the light scent that permeates the kitchen and wafts into our family room feels like a small gift to myself-and inexpensive aromatherapy.

Even a few days after simmering, I can walk into the room and detect a faint but lovely hint of citrus and cinnamon lingering in the air. Notably, it’s not heavy like some commercial potpourris I’ve smelled. And the guys in my family enjoy it as much as I do.

Cleverly, Anne has packaged the ingredients in a wide-mouth jar or cellophane bag and given as a thoughtful gift over the years, including the simple simmering instructions. She mentioned that the potpourri is a great gift when you’re not sure what someone’s food restrictions or preferences may be. 

Given the ongoing pandemic, I think this would make a thoughtful “just because” gift all winter long. In that case, you could call it cranberry or orange spice potpourri. Or winter potpourri. The same holds true for friends who celebrate a holiday other than Christmas. 

However you may be celebrating this year, I send my warmest wishes-and special thanks to Anne for sharing this feel-good recipe. Perhaps this winter is a good time to remember the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” A simple bag containing the potpourri ingredients may just be the bright spot someone needs on a dark day, and a reminder that someone really does care. ❤️

 

 

Looking for another “just because” gift to brighten someone’s day, no holiday required? Following are three easy, non-food ideas to keep in mind all year long:

  • Easy Sugar Scrub requires just three basic ingredients and a few minutes to stir together. It smells heavenly, doesn’t leave a greasy residue, and is my go-to solution for dry, cracked hands all year round, but especially during the cold winter months. 
  • Homemade Dog Treats offer another non-food item (at least not people food!) that pet lovers are sure to appreciate. If you don’t feel like rolling the dough and using a cookie cutter, you can simply roll into balls and flatten as shown in the top photo. 
  • Parents with young kids (and more on their plates than usual) are bound to appreciate a batch (or two) of Homemade Play Dough. It’s moldable, as play dough should be, but it’s softer and not as dry. That means you don’t end up with all those messy little play dough crumbs everywhere. Play dough offers a lovely idea for grandparents to make for grandchildren they aren’t able to see right now. Make sure to ask for photos of their creations! (Check out the gel color options at craft stores like Michaels or online, as they create a vibrant assortment of colors. Think fuchsia, purple, lime green, and more.
The aroma of warm spices and fresh citrus join festive cranberries in this colorful, easy-to-make mix that is perfect for gift giving.

All of the ingredients go into a pot…

The aroma of warm spices and fresh citrus join festive cranberries in this colorful, easy-to-make mix that is perfect for gift giving.

…and water is added to cover. The mixture can be simmered on low for a few hours and even reused.

Christmas Potpourri
Yield: 1 potful (or 1 jar or bag for gifting)
The aroma of warm spices and fresh citrus join festive cranberries in this colorful, easy-to-make mix that is perfect for gift giving.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 small orange (a clementine works equally well)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves or allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • Wide-mouth, quart jars or cellophane gift bags (if giving as a gift)
Instructions

Slice the orange, and then bring 3 cups water and all of the ingredients to a simmer over low heat, uncovered, in a small to medium pot. Check the water from time to time, adding more if it starts to get low.

If giving as a gift, place all of the ingredients in a wide mouth jar or cellophane bag, tie with a pretty bow, and include the simmering instructions.

Notes

*The last time I made this, I used ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice instead of the ground nutmeg. Next time, I might try pumpkin pie spice.

A few more things…
I have simmered the mixture on my burner’s lowest heat for several hours with an occasional stir, which helps the aroma to waft out. I’ve then let the pot come to room temperature before covering and keeping at room temperature and repeating two more times (adding water as needed) on subsequent days before discarding and starting with fresh ingredients.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

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Comments

  1. Terri Post author

    I had everything to mix up a pot of the potpourri. It has been simmering for an hour and there’s a fragrant aroma throughout my home. A mood lifter for sure. You were right too. It took hardly any time to throw together. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Terri, I’m so happy you like this as much as I do. It’s a mood lifter for sure. Somehow the aroma always makes me happy!

      Reply