Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sugar and Spice

I love to have a sweet smelling home.  You see, my mum was/is an aromatherapist and when I was young and still living at home, she always had some scent on the go.  Her favourite (and one of mine) is lavender and occasionally there would be scents of cinnamon or patchouli.  Now a day doesn't go by without me lighting a scented candle or adding a special oil to my burner.  The kids even ask for me to light a candle for them to read by.  The only downside is that the candles and the oils that I love are expensive, really expensive...sigh!  As much as I would love to burn them all day, every day, I can't do it without leaving a big dent in our budget.

However, just the other day I was on Pinterest and I discovered recipes for simmering spices.  Some required many ingredients, most of which I didn't have on hand so I decided to experiment with what I had and this is what I came up with and if I don't say so myself, they are not bad at all.

~Lemon Verbena~
In a small pot combine a bunch of fresh lemon verbena (you could use mint instead of the lemon verbena) leaves with about 2 cups of water.  Simmer on a low heat.  If needed, add more water.
This is a subtle scent but it lasts all day and freshens the whole house.

I added two vanilla beans to 2 cups of simmering water.  At first the scent was subtle and sweet but by the end of the day I found it overpowering and sickly sweet.  If I was to do this again I would use one vanilla bean instead of two.

~Cinnamon and Orange~
In a small pot combine 4 cinnamon sticks and the peel of one orange.  Add 2 cups of water and simmer on a low heat.
I think this would be perfect at Christmas time but we enjoyed it in April too.

~Orange, Lemon and Cinnamon~
In a small pot combine the peel of one orange, one lemon and 2 cinnamon sticks.  Add two cups of water and simmer on a low heat.
This has a fresh, clean scent.

Lavender always has a special place in our family so I decided to have a go at simmering some lavender.  I went to my garden and cut off about 20 lavender blooms.  I threw the heads into 2 cups of simmering water and the result...a relaxed family and a better nights sleep.

I know that not everyone has fresh herbs and spices on hand but they are easy to find.  You can purchase them at your local grocery store or health food provider.  The combinations that you create are endless.  Experiment and have fun!  If you discover a perfect combination please let me know so that I can try it out, too. 

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