One of the great things about having a significant other is that when it comes time for the holidays, you get to do double the fun traditions. Oh, you mean your family has an annual cookie recipe too?? Double the cookies! We actually did a few new-to-me traditions this year from my guy’s side of the family, and one of them is this amazing stove simmer that his mom makes every year (we love you, Martha!). It’s the perfect scent to fill your house with while you sit by the fire or have guests over, and the addition of the greenery in this simmer creates the perfect Christmas tree smell.
Evergreen + Cinnamon Stove Simmer
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or a few cinnamon sticks)
1/4 cup chopped orange rind
1/2 teaspoon whole or ground cloves
2 tablespoons chopped apple peel
1/4 cup evergreen trimmings (use scissors or small pruning shears)
1/4 cup cranberries
2 cups water
Add all your ingredients into a small pot and heat over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low so that the water is on a low simmer. In a few minutes your house should smell amazing! You can keep the same pot on the stove and add more water as it boils down (but make sure the pot doesn’t boil dry!). Add more ingredients and water as needed to keep the scent alive as the days go on. Of course, this is meant to be enjoyed when you are home and nearby the pot, so don’t leave the stove on if you are leaving the house or going to bed!
If you feel weird about putting pine needles in your cooking pot, you can also do this in a clean tin can (that’s how Todd’s mom makes hers). Just remove the label and the top and set it directly on your stove, or place it in a pot with several inches of water and boil it that way. Just replace the water in the tin and pot as needed.
If you don’t have an evergreen tree in your yard or a Christmas tree with branches to spare, you can hover around where Christmas trees are sold, and they will usually let you have a few branches if you ask nicely enough. Or, you can lurk around the unattended Christmas trees in your grocery store parking lot (because it’s closer than the nice tree store) and break off a few of the tiny bottom branches that they will probably cut off anyway when they put it in the tree stand. But, I mean, who would do that?? Now, go, make your house smell like Christmas! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.
I keep a pot of hot water on my wood stove to add humidity and often throw in cinnamon, oranges, and the like. It’s wonderful to walk in after being out and about and be greeted by a welcoming fragrance. I never thought of adding evergreen tips to the mix, but can’t wait to try that, too!
Best wishes for the New year.
Rosemary works too, in a pinch!
I tried this already. It smells so delicious, it’s the smell of Christmas. For next time I’ll try to find away how you could make this, but still be able to drink it as well… 🙂
This looks great.
Love this! <3
I can almost smell this just from the pictures! I bet it’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing Laura – this seems like a sure fire and instant way to get into the Christmas spirit!
Awesome idea! I might try this in my crock pot and see if that works, too??
Thanks for sharing…Merry Christmas!
Such a cool post!
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I do something similar minus te evergreen and adding vanilla extract! I can only imagine how adding evergreen to that would smell. ?❤️?❤️ Merry Christmas! I’m going to try this!
Your photography is beautiful! I just made this and the bonus is that it forced me to eat two pieces of fruit after all of the cookies and candy coming my way;) Happy Merry Everything!!!
yes to doubling the traditions! this one sounds like a fun one to try, and i’m totally down for double the cookies too!
I do this but have never tried pine. I’m off to the woods to get some smelly branches. Merry Merry!
My mother used to do this! I definitely want to give this a go – thanks for sharing!
Oooh I recently posted a video tutorial for this type of thing (though I didn’t use any evergreen- that’s a great addition!). Here’s the link if anyone is interested! http://youtu.be/o1omfe3UMdY I found I needed to add water about every 20 minutes 🙂 Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!
I love the idea of giving this away as small gifts! I’m fond of the natural elements as well as the creativity and thought involved! So much more personal than gift cards to Dunkin Donuts.
Oh dear! And I had been feeling so guilty about that branch I plucked from the parking lot at the boy scout Christmas tree sale around the corner at Winn-Dixie. All is well now.
That reminds me of my childhood and similar pots simmering on the stove. Wishing you all the best for Christmas!AriadnefromGreece!
wow great post!
Haha the last paragraph though! This sounds awesome, totally gonna try it. Beautiful post, have a great Christmas! 🙂
This looks delicious!
Are you sure I can’t eat it? 🙂