Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Potpourri Cooker in Place of Candles

I love the aroma and the mood created by sweet smelling candles, but we only use candles for birthday cakes in this house. I have five energetic children. That's ten always-moving arms. Twenty never-still limbs. I am not willing to take the risk. But this time of year, I want the house to smell like the holidays, so I use my potpourri cooker. At least if one of the balls no one is supposed to be tossing in the house sails into the pot, I do not have to worry about the house catching on fire.

You do not have to purchase expensive potpourri to use your inexpensive cooker (or potpourri warmer, if that is what you call it). Simply put a little water in the cooker (1/2 to 1 inch), then add whatever spices you like. My favorite combination is vanilla and cinnamon. (This is the only thing for which I use imitation vanilla, which is really inexpensive if you buy the store brand. Cook with the real stuff, though. It's better for you.)

I've tried several combinations, and intend to try more this season. I added whole cloves once, but the smell was so overwhelming, I had to quickly toss the entire batch. I'm thinking of adding pumpkin pie spice, or maybe peppermint extract. I'll let you know if they work well. We had tangerines for lunch today, so I saved the peels and put those in the pot with some water. The smell was too pungent, so I took most of them out. With only a few small peels, the scent was much more pleasant. Mmmmm....

Since my theme is holiday related, let me share yet another Elizabeth story. (That child provides enough material that I could write a book about her alone.) I bought a pack of Christmas trivia cards the other day. I have been reading a few of the cards at breakfast or lunch for the children. This morning's question was, "Where was the first Christmas card created?" Elizabeth's immediate answer: The North Pole.

(The correct answer is England, but Elizabeth's is definitely funnier!)

Have a wonderful night. I need to go see who made it to the finals of Dancing with the Stars.


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