Anyway, many of you who read this post will undoubtedly have a "Well, duh!" reaction to its content. To tell the truth, I'm having a "Well, duh!" reaction to my own ignorance. Before I get too hard on myself, though, let me explain a couple of things: 1) My mother does not like home fragrances, air fresheners, potpourris, or perfumes of any kind. They give her a headache, so I was raised in a home with unscented everything, and I, too, don't much care for overly scented things. 2) Nancy and I are not made of money, so while I believe we still spend too much in some areas of our lives, we try to avoid unnecessary expenses where we can. Thus, air fresheners, potpourri, and Scentsy pots are not part of the regular housekeeping expenses here.
When we went to Nancy's parents' home (five miles away) for Christmas with that side of the family on December 26th, Nancy's sister Susan had put a little pot of things on the stove that looked like it was definitely not going to be a part of the Christmas dinner menu. Since no pot of stuff on a stove may go undiscussed in my presence, I inquired as to what it was that I was looking at. Susan explained that it was a pot of "stovetop potpourri," the recipe for which someone had found on Pinterest and which had become popular among the people she knows in her hometown.
"Turn it on and let it simmer," she said.
I did. It smelled divine. Nancy liked it, too. I asked for the recipe.
We bought a new bag of cranberries the next day--we already had everything else--and Nancy remarks multiple times per day how much she enjoys the scent of this simmering on the stove.
Now see, I would never have thought about using a wood cookstove as a potpourri warmer, but I have to say that I think a cookstove is the perfect appliance for it for several reasons. For one thing, the stove is going to be going anyway, so there is no added energy expense--which would have absolutely prevented me from doing this sort of thing on a gas or electric stove. Also, I think that candles actually provide a greater fire hazard than a wood cookstove.
Here is the recipe:
1 orange, sliced
1/2 c. or so whole cranberries
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 cups of water
Let this simmer on the stove indefinitely. As the water steams away, add more. You can use this as long as you are happy with the intensity of the aroma. Our first batch has been sitting on the side of the range for three days now, and it still smells great.
|The potpourri simmering on the side of the Margin Gem.|
A quick peek at Pinterest revealed that there are many, many recipes for this sort of thing. This particular combination (which smells just like expensive candles or bags of dry potpourri) is considered a "holiday scent," but Pinterest has many recipes for stovetop potpourri for different times of the year. I bet this isn't the only recipe that we will have simmering on the stove over the next few months of constant winter firing!