Fish. Bacon. Broccoli. While the savory smells are wafting from the stove you salivate over the anticipation of your first bite. But once the dishes have been washed and you’re post-food coma, the once incredible smells become — well, stinky. The other night, I slow-cooked a delicious spicy chili. I thought for sure the kitchen walls would somehow soak up the peppery stench and by morning it would be back to its fresh and clean state, but holy jalapeno — it still reeked of last night’s dinner!
I figured, if cooking is what got me into this stinky mess, then cooking was going to get me out of it. I thought about the rich, fragrant apple cider my mom makes during the holidays. It makes the whole house smell unbelievably warm and festive. I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, but I did have some vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and cloves in the pantry. I had to get ready for the day and didn’t have time to monitor an open flame on the stove, so I put the ingredients in my slow cooker instead. I added 2 cups of water, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 capfuls of vanilla extract and turned it on its lowest setting. In no time at all my home smelled sweet, warm and inviting. Not a trace of chili leftovers lingered in the air.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of making my own all-natural home fragrances on a regular basis. It sure beats chemical based sprays or short lived (and really pungent) plug-ins. Candles are beautiful, but you can’t leave them unsupervised while they’re working.
I started coming up with ideas for other combinations to try out which included citrus peels from lemons or oranges, essential oils of lavender, rose or almond, spices like rosemary, thyme and so on.
Are you guys into this? What combinations will you try first?