CLOVES AND CINNAMON – SPICES WITH THE SWEET SCENT OF CHRISTMAS




Every now and again you can walk into someone’s home and within an instant, the warm luxurious fragrance that greeted you has transported you back to Christmas’s past.

It is truly amazing how certain smells - or even a combination of smells – are able to evoke such powerful imagery. So why not use this natural phenomenon to your own advantage? If you are planning on having guests round this holiday period, then why not make then most of this time by adding the extra dimension of Christmas fragrance to your home?

Cinnamon

Truly a classic Christmas spice, but it’s one thing to sniff some cinnamon sticks while they are under your nose, but how do you get that luscious scent to drift around your home?

Answer. Choose an old drinking glass making sure that the bottom is wide enough to fit a tea light. Next, glue - or tie into place - cinnamon sticks vertically around the outside of the glass until it is completely covered. Should you wish, you can decorate the outside of the glass with an appropriate Christmasy ribbon. When completed, place the tea light on the bottom of the glass and light it – the warmth of the candle will bring out the smell of the cinnamon. Remember though, never leave a naked flame unattended!

Cloves

Another great spice for creating that Christmas feeling is the musky fragrance released from cloves - especially when combined with the smell of oranges or lemons . An easy way to take advantage of this is to make an orange/Clove ball, otherwise known as a pomander. Start by using something like a toothpick to make holes in the orange. Next, place a clove into each hole and continue until the whole orange is covered, you can even position the holes in order to create festive patterns. When finished you can leave in bowlsin the fashion of a large pot pourri or decorate with ribbon and hang somewhere appropriate.

An easy cheat

There is - of course - a quick way to get a whole combination of Christmas flavours to permeate throughout the house. Place 4 to 6 cups of water into a small saucepan and add to it the peels from 2 oranges, 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of whole cloves and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Bring the pan to the boil and then reduce the heat so it just sits there simmering gently. Of course, you will need to keep an eye on it so that the pan doesn't boil dry. When the water gets low, add more water, and when the scent begins to diminish you will need to discard that batch and make a fresh one. Never leave the pan simmering on the stove unattended.

RECIPE FOR TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CAKE

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