Sunday, October 21, 2012

Simmering Pot "recipe"

This time of year is always so busy for me, but it is my favorite time of the year! As many of you know, I do love my Scentsy warmers, but nothing quite smells as good as real fruit simmering in water on the stove. There are a multitude of simmering pot recipes out there, but this post came as a result of testing out a holiday gift idea for family acquaintances. You know, the neighbors, teachers, etc.

First, in order to preserve the fruit, I knew I needed to dehydrate it. However, I do not own a dehydrator, and I couldn't justify spending the money for one to make gifts. Not to mention, I really do not need another small kitchen appliance. This is how I did it, in the oven.

Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible. Mine was around 180, I believe.

 Gather your supplies. You'll need your fruit, in this case I did an apple and an orange. I used my mandolin slicer to slice them into even slices.
 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange your slices.
 Bake them in the oven for 4-6 hours, turning once using a pair of tongs. The parchment paper will ensure that they do not stick to the pan, what a mess that would be!!
 Once dried, I allowed them to cool overnight on the baking sheet. The next day, I put 2 slices of each fruit into my small 1 quart crockpot, added a stick of cinnamon and 4-5 whole cloves. I then added about 1 cup of water to start.
 I turned the crockpot on warm, and let it warm up. As it heats up, I keep the lid on it to allow the fruit to become rehydrated.
As it warms up, the water will turn to an amber color. Once warm, I remove the lid and add another 2-3 cups of hot tap water. I keep the crockpot on warm throughout the day without the lid, and my house smells so amazing and welcoming!

A few notes:
If you are doing this just for yourself, not gifts, you can skip the dehydration process. Just slice the fruit and throw it in the crockpot.

To package these up as gifts, put 2-3 slices of each dehydrated fruit, a stick of cinnamon and some whole cloves into a baggie, add a gift tag with instructions.

This will also work on the stove in a small pot of water. I prefer my crockpot, since I have two small children, and I do not like having my stove on constantly.

You can use the mixture for about a week. I usually do not use it for more than 3-4 days. Just keep adding water as necessary, then replace when the scent dissipates.

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