Grandma’s Beautiful Fall and Winter Potpourri

Fall and Winter Potpourri

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A Family Recipe

The potpourri was our ancestor’s “Glade PlugIn”. Except… better. Much, much better. A great way to make the house smell delicious without the calories of cookies and the chemicals from those candles you used to love before finding out they can potentially be a health hazard. This recipe is one we made growing up as a family. I have very fond memories of helping my mom make it and breathing in the aroma of citrus and cinnamon.

(Looking for more simple and abundant recipes? Check out:

LENTIL SPROUTS FOR CHICKENS (AND YOUR FAMILY) – A PROTEIN PACKED WINTER TREAT)

PUT ON THE BRAKES. Before I go on… here at Herbs, Birds & the Bees we believe in recipes being put at the top and bottom of posts. Probably one of my least favorite things is looking up a recipe online when I have a baby in my arms and a toddler at my feet, all while having to scroll, and scroll and SCROLL until you can find the dang thing. So, here you go:

(You’re Welcome. Yes, yes, I know I’m amazing).

Grandma’s 4 Ingredient, Simple, Beautiful, Fall & Winter Potpourri

  • Water
  • 1 Orange
  • 3-5 Cinnamon Sticks (Depending on the size of them)
  • 1-2 T of Whole Cloves

Fill saucepan with water. Slice the whole orange in 1/2″ pieces. Add orange slices to water. Break cinnamon sticks in half or thirds depending on size. Add to saucepan. You just want them to fit inside nicely. Sprinkle in all of the cloves. The amount of cinnamon sticks and cloves used really comes down to personal preference. Mix them slightly. Turn heat on low. Enjoy the tantalizing, invigorating citrus and cinnamon smell. Refill water as needed.

Whole Cloves
Whole cloves. Beautiful eh?

Still Here?

This is by far the easiest recipe in the book. Easy, quick and fun for the kids to help with as well. The possibilities for potpourri’s are endless, but I much prefer this one over any other because of the simplicity of it, and quite honestly because it smells better to me than any of the others.

Once the week of Halloween comes along, I tend to start making this on a weekly basis in our home. There’s no reason why you couldn’t start making this earlier in the season, that’s just what we do. Our kids love it, and whenever anyone drops by the first thing they say is something along the lines of, “Wow, what are you making? It smells so good in here”. Got stinky piles of laundry to hide and your mother in law stopping by for a quick visit? No worries- let go of that sudden panic and whip this baby into existence. We’ve got your back.

Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon sticks.

I also tend to send these off as gifts quite often because they are so easy to put together. You can throw a whole orange in a gift bag or large mason jar with the spices, add the recipe on a slip of paper and boom- giving the gift of a cozy smelling home. In fact, spoiler alert- was possibly planning on making these as gifts for family, friends and neighbors this Christmas.

Orange Cut & Ready to Go.
Orange cut & ready to go.

Our knife set we got a few years back and is the absolute best. It’s called KAI Pure Komachi Knife Set. They are fantastic. Each come with a cover and can be stored in a drawer instead of a knife block. This works better for us because we have a small kitchen and like to keep our countertops clear of clutter. Our bamboo cutting board we’ve had for over seven years. Seven years! I can’t believe I’m writing that but it’s true. It’s easy to clean and very sturdy. Bamboo is an ideal material for cutting boards because it’s non- porous, bacteria resistant and is obviously long lasting. Amazon no longer sells the one we have but a great comparison is this one.

Saucepan Filled with Water.
Saucepan filled with water.

(As you heat up the potpourri, the water level will slowly go down. Simply refill and then you’re good to go.) At this point, our oldest wanted to jump in and help so I happily obliged. I determined next time I’ll let her make it by herself after I help her slice the orange. Our kids love to cook so any recipe they can mostly do themselves is a big parenting win and confidence booster for them.

Little Hands Helping.
Little hands helping.
Orange Slices Added In.
Orange slices added in.

Our daughter happily snapped all the cinnamon sticks herself, slowly smelling each one with a smile. Isn’t that the magic of childhood? At that point it was time to add in the sticks with the oranges.

Adding Cinnamon Sticks.
Adding cinnamon sticks.
Cloves in Little Hands.
Cloves in little hands.

“Momma! Take a picture of my hand!” Yes, little one, I will do so happily. Once she placed all the cloves into the saucepan she gave it a little stirring with her fingers. Turned the heat on low, and then we got to wait patiently for the smell of tradition to warm our nostrils.

Finished Product.
Finished product.

And there it is. Oranges always remind me of my grandmothers orange tree that would be full of juicy, heavy, ripe fruit come winter. We spent hours picking them, sorting them, throwing them at each other and watching grandma peel them with a knife meticulously. Then, of course, eating them was the real treat. Making this recipe with my mom, and now with my own children is one of those favorite traditions of ours for the holidays.

Grandma’s 4 Ingredient, Simple, Beautiful, Fall & Winter Potpourri

  • Water
  • 1 Orange
  • 3-5 Cinnamon Sticks (Depending on the size of them)
  • 1-2 T of Whole Cloves

Fill saucepan with water. Slice the whole orange in 1/2″ pieces. Add orange slices to water. Break cinnamon sticks in half or thirds depending on size. Add to saucepan. You mainly just want them to fit inside nicely. Sprinkle in all of the cloves. The amount of cinnamon sticks and cloves used really comes down to personal preference. Mix them slightly. Turn heat on low. Enjoy the tantalizing, invigorating citrus and cinnamon smell. Refill water as needed.

(Looking for more simple and abundant recipes? Check out:

LENTIL SPROUTS FOR CHICKENS (AND YOUR FAMILY) – A PROTEIN PACKED WINTER TREAT)

Give this potpourri a try and tell us what you think. For more recipe posts and other updates here at Herbs, Birds & the Bees, please subscribe! We would love to have you and live life more abundantly together.

Until next time,

-Rachel

Herbs, Birds & the Bees

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