This aromatic potpourri makes a great herbal holiday gift.
MAKES ABOUT 5 1/2 QUARTS
The dry ingredients develop a mild, sweet, almost candylike scent. The optional essential oils produce a stronger, longer-lasting, more seasonal fragrance. When measuring the dry ingredients, pack them loosely in the measuring cup so you don’t crush them.
• 4 cups red rose petals
• 2 1/2 cups lavender flowers
• 2 cups each anise hyssop flowers, flowering tops of peppermint, pink rosebuds, oakmoss, and sweet woodruff leaves
• 1/2 cup each allspice berries, aniseed, and cloves
• 1 cup each cinnamon chips, rosemary (or substitute pine or fir needles), holy basil tops (if not available, substitute sweet Annie or increase the aniseed), and chopped calamus root
• 1 vanilla bean, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon tangerine essential oil (optional)
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon essential oil (optional)
• 1/4 teaspoon pine or fir essential oil (optional)
1. Combine the dry ingredients, stirring gently to blend. Add the essential oils if desired. Mix well. 2. Age the mixture in jars in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. 3. Adjust the fragrance with additional materials if necessary. Keep the potpourri in sealed glass jars in a cool, dark place until it’s time to package it for gifts or display it.
To show off your potpourri, place it in a large container: perhaps a cut-glass punch bowl, a pretty tin, a silver epergne, or a lined basket. Top it with your prettiest, most colorful blossoms or with some of the “finishing touches” described in the main article.
Read the main article, Herbal Projects: Homemade Potpourri.
Louise Gruenberg gardens, crafts, and teaches about herbs from her home in Oak Park, Illinois.