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Jonathon Hawes' Favourite Seasonal Simmer Pots

Jonathon Hawes' Favourite Seasonal Simmer Pots

Posted on November 14 2022, By: Jonathon Hawes

Jonathon Hawes' Favourite Seasonal Simmer Pots

There are many things that go into preparing your space for the holidays from cleaning the house, to decorating the tree, to finding the perfect outfit, and don't forget about setting the most elegant dinner table!

One thing I would often fail to remember was ambiance. The last 30 minutes before guests arrive is when I would often spin out... but with a little planning, you can make their arrival one to remember. 

What is a simmer pot? 

One thing that is most likely always simmering in our home during the holidays {other than my in-laws} is... a simmer pot! Sounds basic, but trust me, they're fabulous! 

A simmer pot is a form of potpourri that is heated on the stove, which fills the house with a truly fabulous aroma. And as an added bonus, simmer pots add humidity into the air, which can do wonders for you during the dry winter months (if you live anywhere other than Vancouver ;). How fabulous is that? 

There's nothing I love more than smacking our guests in the face the minute they walk in with the fresh scent of fresh orange and cinnamon.

Setting up your pot

 

Take your favourite dutch oven, or a heavy-bottom lined pot, and add the ingredients listed from one of my recipes below. Fill the pot with water and make sure all of the ingredients are covered; then bring this big daddy to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer. Within about 15 minutes, you'll start to notice the refreshing scent starting to fill the air. Add additional water when needed!

And if you're short on space, you can also make a simmer pot in a slow cooker. I won't lie to you, we don't own one of these machines, but I'd imagine they'd come in handy if you're in the middle of cooking and need every element on the stove like one often does! 

 

Traditional Holiday Simmer Pot

 

This is by far my favourite winter simmer pot. This recipe is for those who want to have their entire home smelling like Christmas. And who can blame us? That sounds sensational! 

Here are the ingredients:

  • At least the peel from 2 oranges, or one whole orange, sliced
  • 2-4 cinnamon sticks (the more the merrier, right?) 
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cloves (available in the spice isle)
  • Fresh Christmas tree branches or a couple sprigs of rosemary & thyme
  • A tablespoon of peppercorns
  • Cranberries (these don't add any scent but they make the pot look absolutely gorgeous - handy for when guests are helping out in the kitchen)
  • And if you're feeling fabulous, add a whole vanilla bean!

Apple & Pear Simmer Pot

This next recipe is another personal favourite that is inspired by gorgeous seasonal fruit. How bad can that be?

Again, you'll want to place all of these ingredients at the bottom of your pot and fill with water.

  • 1-2 pears, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red apple, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 teaspoon of whole clove

Cold Fighting Simmer Pot

Although this time of year is full of cheer, we can't forget that it is also the season of getting through a naughty cold. So, if you're feeling under the weather, consider this cleansing simmer pot recipe:

  • 2-4 lemons thinly sliced
  • A big bunch of Eucalyptus leaves
  • Dried chamomile (even a couple of tea bags would work!)
  • A handful of fresh mint (teabags would also work here - but the fresh stuff is exceptionally wonderful)

So the next time you're wanting to make your home feel exceptionally warm for the holidays, make sure to give one of these a try! And if you end up taking a photo of your beautiful pot, don't forget to tag me @jonathonhawes or @marchemonpitou. À bientôt xx