Thanksgiving Potpourri: The wonderful smells of Thanksgiving-without all the work
The sense of smell, more than sight, hearing or even taste, is where we store our most cherished and vintage memories. Once you raise that first fork full of stuffing, you begin to breathe in a memory of your childhood. As you sit at the table with your kids, parents, aunts, cousins and friends, the homeward journey begins.
But what if you’re not cooking this year? What if you’re working, eating somewhere else, or ordering a pre-made Thanksgiving meal? How are you going to be able to enjoy those sensory nostalgic vintage memories?
The answer is Thanksgiving Potpourri.
Several years ago I was a single mom and I worked two, sometimes three, jobs, especially during the holidays. It was during the holidays that I resented working the most because I wanted to be with my family and provide them with the same traditional holidays I grew up with and adored. Out of desperation comes great invention. Even though I ordered our Thanksgiving dinners To-Go (ok all of you from scratch cooks, don’t shudder- I was desperate) I never gave up the aroma of cooking all day.
To get that nose-pleasing smell that makes your mouth water all day, I created a Thanksgiving Potpourri that I would make from scraps when I did have time to cook. I took bits and pieces of Thanksgiving ingredients and then froze them in a container, when turkey time came around (and I was working), I just simmered them on the stove all day. Your nose was still pleased and the smell created the yearning for a meal of Thanks- which always took place when I got home.
I now use the Fall potpourri every day and everyone who comes over always ask what kind of pie I’m baking.
So go ahead and take a break from slaving in the kitchen all day, you deserve it. Your guest will never know the difference with a simmering stove of Thanksgiving goodies!
Fill a pan 3/4 of the way with water and add desired amount of Potpourri, bring to slow boil and lower temp to a low simmer. Never let dry out, add water as needed.
Thanksgiving Dinner Potpourri
- Onion Slices- just one or two
- Celery (the inner stalks or the leafy ends you don’t use)
- Bouillon cube
- Poultry Seasoning– 1/2 to 1 tsp
Pumpkin Pie Potpourri
Pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cloves, ginger) 1 tsp
Cinnamon sticks- 1 broke into pieces
Vanilla bean or 1 tsp of Vanilla extract
Scents of Fall Potpourri
- Orange peel- 1 Tbsp
- Apple peal – from 1/2 an apple
- Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
- Cloves 1/2 tsp
- Thyme 1 tsp
- Rosemary 1 tsp
- Sage 1 tsp
- Marjoram 1 tsp
Apple Pie Potpourri
- Apple Cider 1 1/2 cups
- Cinnamon Stick- 1 broken into pieces
- Clove 1 tsp
Fresh Baked Bread
Now this tip isn’t as deceiving as the others but it will not be as time consuming as one may think, total time involved should be less than 10 mins.
Buy the frozen raw bread loaves at the grocery store, follow the instructions and place in the oven to bake 20 minutes before guest arrive and serve with dinner. The smell of fresh-baked bread can not be beat.
If you have the time to make homemade bread this article, 13 Homemade Bread Recipes, by Common Sense Homesteading is a fantastic resource for all of your bread recipes.