It has been bitterly cold throughout the US this week, with even colder air on the way this weekend. I noticed that the air in our home had gotten very dry because of running the furnace more, (we do not have a humidifier as part of our HVAC), but I didn’t want to haul out the big humidifier just yet.
So I decided to put a big pot of water to simmer on the stove to get some moisture in the air quickly. And it’s always nice to add a little something to the water to add a pleasant scent to the house as well, without harmful chemicals.
I looked around to see what I could find, and I found a lone orange on the back side of my fruit basket that was leftover from our family Christmas gathering. For drinks we had punch, mulled cider, with iced tea and water in clear beverage dispensers, and I wanted to make it look a little more festive so I added fresh cranberries and orange slices to the water. So pretty!
So I took the orange, (which was starting to dry out a little bit), sliced it thinly with my mandolin, and added it to my pot of water. Next I headed to my spice shelf and grabbed a couple of cinnamon sticks, and my mulling spices.
This spice blend smells amazing on it’s own and includes: cinnamon, allspice, cloves, mace and cardamom seeds, which all compliment the orange wonderfully, I wish you could smell it!
***NOTE: a metal pan is best for this, I had some staining on my enameled cast iron after doing this.***
It was really pretty when it first began to simmer, but throughout the day as I added more water, the water got murkier as the cinnamon sticks began to breakdown. But do keep an eye on your pot and DO NOT let the water completely evaporate. If you are going to be out of the kitchen for an extended period of time, you might want to set reminders on your phone to add additional water to the pot.
For very little effort, in no time at all my house was smelling amazing, and it really did add moisture to the air. The humidity in our home went from 23% to 33% while the mixture was simmering on the stove. Give it a try this weekend and see what amazing scent combinations you can come up with.