3 Stovetop Simmers to Fill Your Home with Warmth

A softly bubbling pot of richly scented herbs and spices soothes your senses and revitalizes your spirit.

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Posted in , Dec 26, 2017

Simmering spices on stove

The winter holidays are so sensory-rich. The flavors of looked-forward-to foods, the sounds of music and bells, the feel of warm hugs from beloved friends or family members—all are ingredients in a positive, nourishing holiday experience.

But it’s the sense of smell that stands out to me as a marker of holiday time, as well as a tool for revitalizing our homes throughout winter hibernation season. Here are three easy, inexpensive combinations of herbs and spices that invite you to breathe in peace, warmth and joy all winter long.

The instructions for all three combinations are the same—just add the ingredients to a deep saucepan filled with boiling water, boil rapidly for two minutes, then reduce to a low simmer all day long. A bonus benefit to this practice is that the steam from the pot will hydrate the air in your home as it releases its toasty aroma!

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

1)  Classic Warming Spices
2 cinnamon sticks
2T whole cloves
Peel from 1 orange
Optional: 2 sprigs pine or other evergreen leaves

2)  Soothing Stress-Reducer
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cinnamon stick
1T anise seeds

3)  Refreshing Energy-Booster
Peel from 2 lemons
1/2 cup dried rosemary
1/2 cup dried mint 

Make a note to check in on your pot throughout the day, adding more water as steamy evaporation lowers the water level.

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