Some time back, I made gingerbread using a recipe that called for a surprising number of spices, most of which have remained unused ever since. Spices start losing their flavor after two years so I hate to use old ones in my baking. This year, I decided to make potpourri packets and give them as little tokens of appreciation. The scents are still delightful and vibrant, and I feel so much better about using up the older spices rather than throwing them out.
For each packet you will need:
A small clear bag (3.75” x 6″) — Available at craft and baking supply stores
A cardstock tag attached with string
Thin ribbon (fabric or curly) in holiday colors
Colored markers for decorating tag
3 small cinnamon sticks (2 for packet, 1 for decorating)
Pinch of whole cloves
Dried orange peel*
And 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of each of the following:
Directions for tag:
Side A — Write your personalized holiday greeting
Side B — Write “Holiday Spice Potpourri — Add 1 and 1/2 cups water to spice mix in small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Add water as needed.”
* To dry orange peel, peel an orange and use fingernail or butter knife to remove pith (white part), which slows drying process. Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut into orange peel into small strips and lay skin side down on baking sheet. Bake for about 4 hours, checking periodically to ensure that peel isn’t burning. Leave in unheated oven to dry overnight.