Mulling Spices: The Perfect Homemade Gift
The economical, healthy, nut-free alternative to baked goods
Here’s a quick quiz:
Have you been avoiding your oven ever since that one time you lit the taco shells on fire?
Are you the type of person who has the best holiday intentions but remembers them halfway through January?
Do you typically use baking soda instead of baking powder or forget to add eggs?
Do your loved ones use the word “frugal” to describe you at least three times a day?
No? Just me? Well if you can relate, I’d like to share my favorite holiday gift with you. It’s oven-free, procrastinator-friendly, and easy on the wallet. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Holiday Mulling Spices!
A decade ago, my friend Brandi gifted me a small, heavy holiday gift. I opened the bag to see a handwritten recipe card, an orange, a lemon and a handful of spices containing cloves, a cinnamon stick and a few bay leaves.
I followed her instructions and peeled the fruit, emptied the rest of the contents into a small pan with water and set it to simmer. To my surprise, that small gift gave me hours of a rich holiday aroma, filling my tiny apartment with delicious cheer. Now I’m plugging it on the internet because, friend, it’s an amazing gift idea.
Since that initial gift, I’ve passed her recipe along in gift bags to friends, neighbors, family and teachers. It’s creative, easy and fills a home with the aroma of Christmas. In our days of quick-burning candles and scented plug-ins, opt for this homemade slow simmer.
Here’s her recipe:
● 1 orange peel
● 1 lemon peel
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 2 bay leaves
● Small palm-full of cloves
Add all ingredients with two cups of water in a saucepan, refilling with more water when necessary. Simmer and enjoy a beautiful holiday aroma.
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Jennifer is a former high school Spanish teacher, part-time writer, full-time mother and devout enthusiast of NPR podcasts, comedic TV, excellent books and any type of dessert. She is surrounded by her sons, friends, family and a steadfast husband who all inspire her, make her laugh and maintain her vigorous type-A personality at moderate levels.