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Autumn in the Air

by Cathy Monrad 

IMG_2774Nothing reminds me of fall more than apples and cinnamon. This homemade potpourri will not only make your house smell wonderful, but also makes a nice hostess gift—so make a few batches to set aside for those last minute holiday get-togethers.

1 large orange
1 large apple
2 tsp whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches long
pint jar with vented lid

paring knife
mandolin (optional)
parchment paper
sheet pan

  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Using paring knife, peel rind from orange, then cut or rip into 2-inch strips.
  3. Using mandolin or knife, cut apple into ⅛” thick slices.
  4. Place orange rinds and apple slices on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 2 or more hours, flipping each piece every half hour, until fruit and rind are completely dehydrated. Apple slices should be crisp and orange rinds should not emit moisture when squeezed.
  6. Cool completely. Add orange rinds, apple slices, cloves, and cinnamon sticks into desired container. I used a wide mouth mason jar and ring with a round of burlap inserted to provide ventilation.

Potpourri packs an aroma punch when used in a “simmer pot.” Place mixture in a small slow cooker and fill with water. Turn slow cooker on high with lid on until water comes up to a bubble. Remove lid and simmer up to 6 hours, adding water periodically if needed.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and the self-proclaimed garden crafter for the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.

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