Why Your Thanksgiving Dinner Needs A Simmer Pot

If you're hosting a Thanksgiving celebration this year, chances are you'll have several things on the stove at any given moment. While most of the concoctions simmering, boiling, and bubbling in pots will be for eating, we actually suggest you add one more pot to the stovetop, but not to create something edible. Instead, this particular recipe will be aimed at creating an inviting, warm, lovely-smelling ambiance for your gathering that will help you and loved ones create joyful holiday memories. Enter: the simmer pot.

While you might be accustomed to using scented candles to create a certain scent in your home, some people prefer more natural sources of fragrance, especially if any of your guests have allergies to synthetic fragrance or other ingredients used in many candles like paraffin wax (via Healthline). A simmer pot, on the other hand, is simple a mixture of everyday fruits, herbs, and spices which, when combined and allowed to simmer slowly in a pot of water, create a naturally-lovely perfume that fills your home.  

Recipes to try

In order to make a simmer pot, you'll need a medium-sized pot filled a little more than halfway with water. Then, you will add the ingredients of your choice and bring to a boil. Once it has reach a boil, lower the temperature considerably so that it simply remains hot, simmering slowly away and filling your home with fragrance. Don't forget to add water as the day goes on (via Apartment Therapy)!  

The fruits, herbs, and seasonings you use are completely up to you and depend on the type of scent you are hoping to create. Some people tout the idea of using food scraps for a simmer pot to help create a lower-waste lifestyle (via Eating Well). For instance, apple cores and citrus peels from fruit you have used can help add seasonal scents to the mix. Alternatively, you can always pick up ingredients specifically for the purpose of creating exactly the fragrance you're looking for. 

KCET suggests the following mixture for a signature late fall/winter scent: the peel of one orange, five bay leaves, two cinnamon sticks, and a tablespoon of cloves. For a scent that gives off more of a fresh floral vibe, consider the peels of two lemons and half a cup of dried lavender.

Perfect autumnal recipes

For autumnal scents specifically, Apartment Therapy has some wonderful suggestions for simmer pot recipes. If you're looking to create something sweet-smelling, considering combining orange peels with a little bit of vanilla extract. If you'd like, you can even use a juicy orange cut into slices to create a fruitier scent. 

For something to harken back to that wonderful homemade cranberry sauce your grandmother used to make, combine a handful of cranberries, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, lemon slices and orange slices in your pot. 

And if you're looking to create the much-loved scent known widely as pumpkin spice, you don't have to make a homemade pie. Simply mix apple cider, pumpkin pie seasoning, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and whole cloves into the water of your simmer pot. 

And feel free to create recipes and ideas of your own! Have a chai tea bag you'd like to thrown in? Or maybe some fresh ginger? Mix and match to see what suits your preferences and your party this holiday season!