Yesterday I was feeling kind of down, nursing a sore throat and a headache from running on a low amount of sleep, and my brain would not seem to work like I needed it to, to get work projects done. By mid-morning I crashed, my brain was like "dooooh" and I succumbed to my bed linens for a cat-nap, but when I woke I still needed something to lift my spirits. So naturally I put on Christmas music, made and hung some wreaths on the walls, and filled the house with the aroma of warm wintry spices simmering away on the stove. Mood immediately lifted.
Then I thought, a simmer pot spice kit would be a great handmade gift. I'm thinking stocking stuffer, winter solstice gift, hostess gift, teacher gift or part of a collection of hand made goodies for your close friends and family. It couldn't be easier to put together and will have the recipient's abode smelling oh so lovely this winter.
For 1 quart of water I added 4 cinnamon sticks, the peel of 1 tangerine, several whole star anise pods, about 1 teaspoon each of whole cloves and allspice, and a little piece of mace. I loved this combo and Papa agreed when he walked in that it smelled inviting and homey inside.
To make a simmer pot kit to gift, fill a small tin or jar with the following as a base:
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 star anise pods
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 2 dried orange slices
Then add any or a combo of the following extras if you wish:
- juniper berries
- cedar berries
- fir needles
- spruce needles
- vanilla bean
- cardamom pods
Tie with ribbon/raffia/twine and a piece of evergreen, with a handwritten label or perhaps a printed sticker with instructions to simmer on the stovetop in 1 quart of water.
Once used, the infusion can be refrigerated and used again and again over the winter. Discard if it begins to mold, of course.
I used this tin, and you can find many other shapes and sizes of tins and jars on this site.