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French Potpourri: "The Rotten Pot"

In 17th century France, the privileged few who had fresh fruits and herbs to spare, would gather the last of the summer citrus, dried rosemary, thyme and spices and simmer these fragrant bits in a copper pot to masque the heavy, damp smells of Fall.

An autumn simmer pot is a tradition in my home right after the clocks go back. With baseball season over, the threat of six months of darkness looming and little other than Christmas and *maybe* a well-timed snow day to look forward to, a potpourri simmer is an easy, yet decadent indulgence.

My go-to ingredients are sliced oranges, lemons, apples and a pink pomelo, if I can find one. Toss into a copper pot of water, add a few handfuls of cranberries, star anise, cinnamon and a sweet vanilla bean. Don't forget whatever rosemary, thyme and/or sage might be left in your herb garden. Boil, then simmer... beautifully uncovered... for 4-8 hours.

Et voila... autumn château!

Of course, the list of ingredients that you could use is endless. Lavender and lime, chamomile and clove... you could even add a bit of almond extract or hazelnut oil for nutty notes.

Chic tip: Leave uncovered on the stove overnight, add a cup or two of water the next evening and simmer again! This simple but chic indulgence is a gift that keeps on giving... to you, from you. Enjoy!

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