This article was originally published in the March 2016 issue of VRAI Magazine.
For this month’s “Spring is in the Air” theme, I took the “in the air” portion somewhat literally. When I think of the signs of Spring, I think of the scents – new grass, warm breezes and blossoming flowers. After having our home shut up for winter, I look forward to opening the windows, clearing out the stale air, and filling our rooms with light, fresh scents.
I frequently see simmering pot recipes shared around the winter holidays, combining clove, cinnamon and other heart-warming seasonal scents. But the idea of a simmering pot is one you can use and change up all year long, and this is what inspired me to put a Spring spin on a few simmering pot recipes.
If you’re not big into candles or air fresheners, simmering pots are a simple, all natural way to add fragrance to your home. You can make all sorts of scent combinations from ingredients you can easily find in the produce section of your local grocery, such as lemons, limes, mint and rosemary. Pantry ingredients, like whole spices and vanilla extract, can also be added to simmering pots.
How does a simmering pot work? It’s simple! Just slice up the ingredients, place in a stock pot and add enough water to cover (about 2 cups). Then place on stovetop and set heat to low. If you plan on leaving your simmering pot on the stove for an extended period of time, be sure to check the water level every so often—you don’t want the fruits and herbs to burn!
Here are three Spring-inspired simmering pot recipes I’ve tried and love:
Mint and Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a wonderfully crisp citrus fragrance. I paired mine with mint and a few slices of peeled ginger, but I think grapefruit and rosemary would also smell incredible together!
Rosemary and Lemon
Sliced lemon and sprigs of rosemary create a classic combination with a bright, crisp scent.
Lime, Mint and Ginger
Fresh lime and mint make a perfect pair (who else loves a mojito?). The addition of freshly peeled ginger is a nice twist.
When you’re done with your simmering pot for the day, store the ingredients in a Mason jar covered with water. They’ll keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
These also make great gifts – dress up a Mason jar with patterned paper, twine or ribbon, and a hand-written tag!