I've noticed that my holiday spirit has been lagging. Holiday music and movies have helped a little, but I can't seem to wholeheartedly immerse myself in holiday preparations. I've delegated tasks, and the kids are pulling their fair share. They're baking cookies. We won't discuss the fact that they're eating them as fast as they're baking them. They secured a tree. It's still outside, but plans are afoot to set it up and decorate it.
Then my son suggested we needed a pot of the smelly stuff. And he was right.
Essence of Christmas - from my mother's recipe box, written on a vintage note card.
When my kids were little, they called this concoction the smelly stuff. In the days leading up to the holidays, I always had a pot of it simmering on the stove. It heralded the coming holidays.
The other day when my son suggested that we needed the smelly stuff, I helped him make a batch.
Cut up orange peel and lemon peel. This is the peel from 1 lemon and 1 1/2 oranges. I usually use a little more orange peel than lemon peel, but I don't think it really matters.
Gather 2 bay leaves, 1/4 cup whole cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks. If you have longer cinnamon sticks, one will do.
Put it all in a small pot. Add water and place it on the stove.
Simmer on low. Savor the smell. Add water as needed. After hours and hours of simmering, it will lose its smell. Make a fresh batch.
Holiday spirit in a pot.