Saturday, December 1, 2007

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas

It’s easy to make your house smell like Christmas if you buy a real Christmas tree and greenery. That can be very messy and expensive. You can also buy some of the hundred kinds of air fresheners. They work but are usually ugly and artificial smelling not to mention that they are extremely expensive.

It is cold outside and the air inside your house may be stuffy and stale. There are many natural things you can do to make your house smell yummy!!!

Buy holiday scented candles and burn for an hour or two everyday. The scent will linger long after the flame is extinguished. Set out bowls of cinnamon sticks, scented pine cones (from the craft store), or holiday potpourri.

Make pomanders from clove studded fruits such as oranges and apples and arrange in a bowl or platter or tie a ribbon around and hang in a closet or on your tree. For a long lasting pomander, you can follow these instructions that I found at Pioneer

Supplies needed:
small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)
masking tape or elastic bands
paper bag
20-25 grams large headed cloves
spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg,and ground cloves
Knitting needle or fork or toothpick
thimble or masking tape to cover fingers
4 drops sandalwood oil (a natural preservative)
ribbons for hanging pomanders
To begin, select fruit that is blemish free. Oranges are very suitable for this project.

Mix the spices with the Sandalwood oil in a bowl or bag and set aside. Cover fingers with masking tape or thimbles when making the holes for the cloves, otherwise it can be painful after awhile. At this point, if you want to decorate the pomander with ribbons, using masking tape, make a crisscross design on the fruit.

This will be the marked off area when the ribbons will be. Using the knitting needles or something similar, poke holes starting from the top of the orange straight down to the bottom, inserting cloves as you go along.

Continue this all around the fruit until it is completely covered in cloves. Make sure the hole is about double the size of the clove stem, since the orange will shrink to about half its original size. Maximum spacing between cloves should be no more than 1/4 inch, the closer together the better. Once the orange is clove studded, place the spices in a paper bag. (Do not use plastic bags as it will prevent the pomander from curing properly). Roll the orange in the spices until it is completely and evenly coated. Next leave the orange in the bag and place in a cool, dry area for approximately 4-6 weeks to dry the pomander out. Roll the orange in the spices daily. Note: If you notice any mold or the orange decomposing then throw it out. Curing time varies anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. On average it's about 3 1/2 weeks. To check if your pomander is dried, it should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle, and feel light in weight. Once dried, shake off any excess spices. You pomander is now ready to fill your house with a sweet spicy scent.

Decorating the pomander: Place ribbons in a criss-cross fashion where the tape was placed or elastic bands. Sew the ends together and make a loop for hanging.

Pomanders look beautiful when several of them are placed in a bowl together. In this case ribbons are not necessary.

Pomanders last many many years. When the scent starts to fade, add a few drops of clove oil to your spice mixture and reroll in the spices.

Make Cinnamon scented ornaments to hang on your tree or in your closets using this recipe:

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 cup cinnamon
1 tbsp. cloves
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce (Let drain in a strainer for several hours)
2 tbsps. white glue

Mix cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg add applesauce & glue. You can also add glitter for a sparkly effect. Work mixture with hands until smooth and well mixed. Divide into 4 portions roll out to 1/4 inch thickness cut with cookies cutters. Use straw to make hole for hanging (if needed). Put on wire rack to dry at room temp for several days. Turn twice daily so they don't curl. Use ribbon to hang if needed.

These are very pretty and smell delicious. They can be hung on a tree, glued to a wreath, or placed in a basket. I like to hang them in my kitchen window.

Make a house fragrence to simmer on your stove. I use this recipe but you can experiment with these ingredients to find a mixture you like:

House Fragrance

2 cups pineapple juice, cider, or water
½ cup orange peel (from 3 oranges and let dry overnight)
1 ½ sticks cinnamon
2 or 3 bay leaves)
½ cup lemon peel (from 3 lemons and let dry overnight)
½ cup whole cloves
Combine and bring to a boil. Simmer on stove adding water as needed. Can be refrigerated and reused.

Happy Holidays!!!