DIY Recipe: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Potpourri….

Smell can be everything when it comes to the first impressions of a home. Even real estate agents know that the smell of fresh baked bread or cookies makes a home feel warmer and more like home.

So why is it that many of us forget about the scents of a home while we’re pulling together a home decor theme.

Take some time to think about not only how a room looks, but how it smells. And try to remember that the “scent” of a room should match the “flavor” of a room. What do I mean by that?

I mean that an ultra-modern chrome and glass room shouldn’t be accented with soft, lavender or rose petal scents… unless you’re going for the abstract.

It’s not that hard, when you think about it, to combine your eyes and your nose to create harmony in a room.

And, of course, don’t forget about sound. You can not beat a good euphonious blend that matches your home’s decor.

But back to the subject at hand:  How to Make Homemade Lemon Potpourri:

Rather than opting for a packaged potpourri, which is often not quite as natural as you would think (or hope) making your own with dried lemon slices and other ingredients to enhance the overall aroma means that you know exactly what’s in the mix.

You can also create a blend of fragrances suitable for different occasions or different seasons. If you have a food dehydrator, you likely don’t need instructions on how to dry fruit.  However, for those without such handy tools, there’s an easy way to do it using your standard oven.

Here’s How:

First – Remove any packaging, stickers, etc. and then wash under luke-warm running water to remove any dirt or residue.  Allow fruit to dry.   Once you have dried, clean fruit… you’re ready to being.

STEP 1:  Slice the fruit evenly rings, approximate 1/4 inch tick.  It’s ok to go narrower, but I would not recommend exceeding the 1/4 inch thickness.  Discard the ends as they provide little value.  If you’d prefer smaller pieces, cut the slices in half to create semicirculars.

STEP 2:  Pluck the seeds from the fruit.  I find the tip of a knife or a fondue fork works best for this task.

STEP 3:  Place the sliced fruit on wire cooling racks, the kind you use to cool off a cake after baking.  You may have to search the cupboards for them, but almost every kitchen has them somewhere.  Place the fruit-filed racks onto baking sheets to catch any drippings.

(Note:  If you don’t have cooling racks, you can use parchment paper on baking sheets but the process of drying will take longer. )

STEP 4:  Cook on very low heat (175 F) for 5 – 6 hours, or until the fruit is complete shriveled and dried out.

STEP 5:  Allow to cool and then arrange them in a bowl with other dried spices, such as cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, eucalyptus leaves, cedar shavings, dried ginkgo leaves.  Add some additional essential oil of lemon grass to refresh the aroma as needed.

Enjoy!