Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fall Simmer Pot

Pumpkins. Apples. Crunchy, vibrant leaves scattered across the ground. Crisp, cool air. Warm colors and scents swirl around to encapsulate the magic of the fall season. I don't know about you, but I absolutely love this time of year.

I grew up in Indiana seeing the leaves change colors, raking them up into huge piles and jumping in them to my hearts delight with my brother (that is as long as no spiders or bugs decided to crawl on me). I remember the crisp evenings, and that distinct smell that starts to hit the air when summer surrenders to fall.

But, I moved to Arizona when I was a teenager and experienced a very different kind of fall in the desert. We didn't have as much of the changing colors, but we did drop down out of triple digit temperatures and you could make your way outside of our city to nearby apple and pumpkin farms, and even drive up north to see the aspen trees turn yellow, which is gorgeous.

Georgia falls have been spectacular so far. Well, the one that I have been a part of. I'm looking forward to my second fall here, to watch the leaves change and welcome in the cooler and less humid weather. Since it's now September, I've had the urge to make our house smell like the sweet fall spices that I love. The problem? I have no candles, and candle scent doesn't travel very far anyways.

My solution? Simmer pots!

I had remembered seeing something about making your house smell like Williams and Sonoma a long time ago on Pinterest, so I figured, hey, there's got to be one that makes your house smell sweet and spicy like fall. I found a basic recipe and then made it my own. And boy, does it smell good. It's cheap, and you can do it as much or as little as you want, you just have to add more water to keep the smell going, and ever now and then refresh the ingredients.

So here's what you need to make your own fall simmer pot!

2 slices of a larger orange (cut the whole thing and put the rest in a tupperware to save for later!)
5 smaller slices of lemon (if you have big lemons you can use 2-3)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean pod (if you don't have the pod, use a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (or 4-5 whole cloves if you have them)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1. Get a small pot and fill it to a little over half way with water
2. Place on stove on medium high heat
3. Put your ground spices in first, stir to mix and make sure they are all incorporated with the water
4. Add in the rest of your ingredients
5. Let the mixture warm up until it's almost boiling, then reduce your heat to simmer
6. Leave heat on simmer setting
7. Check every now and then to give a quick stir and add more water if necessary.
8. Enjoy the amazing smells of fall as the drift throughout your home.

NOTE: BE SURE TO TURN YOUR STOVE OFF BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME! Like with candles, it can be easy to forget to blow things out or turn them off, but be mindful and don't forget to turn your stove off if you leave the house.

Another great idea...for a fun hostess gift to all the upcoming holiday gatherings, put the dry ingredients for a simmer pot into a baggie (of course it can be fancier than a ziploc bag), along with an orange and apple. Include some written instructions, and voila! A perfect, sweet smelling hostess gift.

What's your favorite fall smell? 

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