Monday, September 21, 2015

Fall Crafts // Stovetop Apple Simmer

Over the weekend, Mark and I both came down with vicious summer colds. Our house since has been a cacophony of sniffs, sneezes, coughs, and moans. We both agreed that during the seasonal shifts--from summer to fall and from winter to spring--we always get sick... and it's always much worse than anything we get during the winter. Usually, I'm way more prepared, stuffing our gills with vitamin C and elderberry. But with all this beautiful 70 degree weather, the word "cold" just didn't enter my mind. So here we are, sick all weekend and still sick on Monday.

Naturally, I thought that a fall craft made all the sense while I'm cooped up in the house. And what other fall craft than a stovetop simmer? 

^ that's sarcasm, my friends.

As I'm chopping apples and gently stirring the pot of water, Mark groggily looked up from his post on the couch and croaked, "Honey what on earth are you doing?" 

Equally snotty, I croaked back: "Making an apple and orange peel simmer." 

"Babe. Why? Neither one of us can smell anything."


According to Mark, my shoulder's literally slumped. Great planning on my part, right?! I go and make a fall stovetop simmer while I have a cold. So, friends, here I am today sharing a fall craft recipe... and I can't even gush over how lovely and homey it smells. For all I know, it could smell like the inside of Mark's rugby boot.

In all honesty, I do know how it smells. Common sense dictates that anything involving apple, cinnamon, and orange peel has to be happy on the nose. Plus, there was this one glorious moment when I sniffed really, really hard and the teeniest whiff of apple pie reached me. This occurred while I was upstairs-- which leads me to believe that the aroma had permeated the entire house... which is a much further reach than a candle!

Tired of this poor-little-me rant about my cold? I don't blame you. Read on for the recipe below.

What You'll Need:
- a large apple
- the peel from one orange
- 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- small pot

What You'll Do:
- Chop the apple, and peel the orange. This is a great way to use up the last fruits from your trip to the farmer's market. That is, if you're like me and overestimate how much fruit your family can eat before it all goes soft. 
- Optional: At this point, if you're a blogger, you should carefully arrange you fruit and precariously stand on a stool to take an aftsy-fartsy photo of it. Sorry, y'all. Colds apparently make me sarcastic and grumpy. 
- Toss the fruit into the pot of water. 
- Add your cinnamon sticks. 
- Pour 1 tsp of vanilla extract on top
- Turn eye on low and allow to simmer throughout the day

Experiment with other scents and flavors as well. I chose these fruits and spices because I associate their scents with fall. However, I'm sure you can experiment with other citrus-y scents-- like lime or lemon--and mix in some herbs. Maybe even lavender? 

This stovetop simmer is a great way to give your whole house a fresh smell. It's a great idea if you're expecting guests-- who doesn't love walking into a house that smells like apple pie? The only hazard may be your guests actually expecting there to be an apple pie. 

I let the pot simmer for a few hours and then put it in the fridge. You can reuse the same fruit for 2 or 3 days. Just drain the water and, when you're ready for fresh fall scents again, pour in some fresh. If you allow the pot to simmer for a few hours, you may have to add water periodically as it evaporates away.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

What scents do you associate with fall? 

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  1. This sounds lovely! And I'm laughing at the image of you sniffing reallllly hard to get a whiff of the smell. :) Hope ya'll feel better soon!


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