Better to be sick before Christmas than over it, yes? I’m at home babying a fever, which means a) I don’t have much of an appetite at all (a sure sign that something is off), and b) I’m feeling wronged, because all my grand plans have been put on hold. On the bright side, I have permission to curl up on the couch with a book, and also to put this concoction together on the stove: my mum’s pot of clementines and cloves.
This is the smell of my childhood home around Christmas. My mum would throw clementine peels in a simmering pot of water with a few broken cinnamon sticks and a half handful of cloves, and it was done: instant holiday season. When I went away to school, I started making it myself, commandeering the smallest pot for a semi-permanent place on the stove during winter exams.
Notes: While this is technically a recipe made out of edible ingredients, it is (disappointingly, because it smells so fab!) not for consumption. When you’re done with it, strain the liquid down the sink and toss the peels and spices in your compost. And keep a half-eye on it while it’s on the stove – even on a low simmer, that water evaporates speedily and will need to be topped up or the contents will burn to the bottom of your pan.
Clementine & Clove Home Scene
- the peels of 4-8 clementines
- a few cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces or left whole
- a half handful of whole cloves
- 2 cups of water (plus more to refill)
1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and ignore, simmering uncovered and adding more water as needed.