Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Simmering Jars

These simmering jars will no doubt be one of my favorite gifts to make for folks for years to come. They are unique, creative, natural, very frugal, quick and simple to make, and very pretty. And they also won't cause your friends to gain 5# like all of that fudge people are always giving this time of year!
My mom asked me the other day if I would be interested in being hired to make cookie platters for her co-workers. She never has the time to make crafty things anymore. I suggested that we do simmering jars instead, since I was already planning to make them for my friends. She agreed to buy all the ingredients and I offered to do them just for the cost of the ingredients, meaning she has 7 jars, and I have 7 jars, and I got to make all of mine for free! The lemons, limes, and oranges were on sale in our town, which helped keep the cost down.

14 Gifts made in one hour!!! If you are short on time, this is the gift for you! Yard Sale Goods put to use: 12 new, canning jars for $3, a roll of Christmas ribbon for 10 cents, and pretty tissue wrapping paper for pennies. I used a couple of old spaghetti sauce and mayo jars for the remaining two jars.

I printed the instructions and Label on one page of address labels.

Each jar contains about 1/2 a lime, 1/2 a lemon, 1/3 of an orange, 1 long cinnamon stick broke in half, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 t. whole cloves, and water. As I made these jars, I simmered the ingredients on my stove and it smelled wonderful! You simmer the contents in a small saucepan on the stove, being careful to always keep plenty of water in the pan. Then you are supposed to put the contents back into the jar, cover with more water, and refrigerate and use again and again. How many "agains" I do not know!

Laura, at linked to this post by Donna, talking about making simmering jars. I thought it was a wonderful idea! I love pretty scents but don't like the artificial-smells in cheap candles or air fresheners. This is an adorable gift for a lady in your life, whether a friend, your child's Sunday School teacher, or an aunt or Grandma. Just don't give it to a guy. My husband assures me that a guy would never find these gifts cute and would promptly re-gift them. I assured him that women love them even if a guy wouldn't, and that it's probably the bachelors who need them the most!

An Added Tip: If you buy your cloves and cinnamon sticks in the spice section you will pay WAY TOO MUCH! Some jars I saw ran as high as $12 for a tiny thing of cloves. I got my cloves and sticks in the Latino section, by all the beans and salsa, where I buy dried peppers for making homemade enchiladas. These run you about 50 cents to a $1 per package.
NOTE: Meredith asked if you are supposed to simmer the ingredients before putting them into the jar for the first time. Nope! Just throw it all in a jar, top with tap water, and put the lid on! Good question, thanks for asking!


Meredith said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lindsey. I was just simmering some cinnamon/cloves/lemon peel tonight because I needed a nice smell.

When you prepare the jars, you don't simmer them first, do you? Just pop everything in the jar, plus water?

Heather said...

What a wonderful idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing an idea that is quick to make, inexpensive, and unique. Plus, it will make the recipient's home smell wonderful!

I might make some for myself. :)

Mrs. Jo said...

I edited the original post to answer your ? Meredith. No need to simmer things first. Sorry I didn't clarify that!

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