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You know the cold crisp days of Autumn is upon us now, no escaping winters gloomy and cold grasp, it is coming whether we want it to or not!

However I find many times during the winter months when the house is all closed up and we tend to stay inside so much, that sometimes simple things like throwing open the windows and doors  (yes even when it is 20 degrees or colder out ) and airing out the house for even 10-15 minutes each week, makes a big difference in our mood.

I grew up with Mom always saying “FRESH AIR HEATS BETTER”  well at least you feel better with fresh air in the house, I can pretty much tell you on cleaning day, the windows would be open, bed linens changed and everything inside and out felt and smelled crisp and fresh, then a nice simmering potpourri to brighten the house.

Then as the house is heating back up I try to get out the crock pot, and make a batch of Apple & Spice Simmering Potpourri. You can also do it on the stove top, or if you have wood heat on top of the wood stove, it seems to be invigorating and refreshing to smell the spiciness wafting through the house.

What I like to do, is here at apple time, when we are peeling and coring so many apples to can, cook, bake and dehydrate for winter. Is to save my peelings, I usually sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning so, and place them in the dehydrator for winter use. Simmering potpourri!

The recipe can be as simple as you want or as complex. I also save my orange rinds, tangerine, tangelo peels etc. for this purpose.

In other words many of the things that will go into the trash/compost can be dehydrated for this use. (I have also frozen them when I did not want or have enough to dehydrate)



These recipes are adaptable to your personal preferences and the ingredients are not given in specific amounts, some like more citrus, apples, spices, and usually the recipe varies as to what I have on hand at any given time.

With the apple potpourri, I do try to put cider vinegar in the water, we have always done this as it will help keep the potpourri fresher longer as you add more water to the mix as it evaporates, for some reason also vinegar seems to help spread the aroma through the air faster!.

Dried Apple Peelings/cores

Water and Or  fresh cider in the fall, apple juice will work also

Cider Vinegar

Brown sugar

Cinnamon sticks


Whole Cloves

Whole Allspice Berries

Star Anise  (nice just a few if you have them on hand)

Whole Bay Leaves

Orange Peel is good in the mix also

Mix all together in a pan or crock pot (an old crockpot you don’t use any longer but do not want to part with make a nice use for this purpose) Mix and let simmer on low.

If you have been in the house for a while and do not smell it, just go outside and get the mail and come back inside and you will be able to smell it, company will smell it for sure and you will to, I find when you are cooped up in the house for a long time it is harder to smell at first.


Much the same as above, I use either brown or white sugar, and the same spices

I have also had some Orange Juice and put that in with the water as well.

It should also be noted that you can easily toss fresh peelings of apple and citrus into the pot and add spices also, however if you have a lot of peelings it is nice to have the dried on hand, whenever you need them and also you have not wasted anything.