It’s been a frosty, overcast weekend here in this small corner of England, and each evening we’ve laid a fire in the hearth and drawn the curtains against the closing of the day; it’s a time for Hygge – for comfort, warmth and home.
To get the fire off to a crackling, scented start I made these bundles packed with clippings from the garden and the trimmed branches of our Christmas tree…
I used sprigs of olive, from the huge old trees that we bought this summer to line our patio;
And Nordic fir, shorn from the Christmas tree before recycling;
Eucalyptus, one of my favourites that I use in the house all year round (try tying a sprig in the shower; it’s amazing!)
And fresh rosemary, clipped from the pots around the kitchen door
And then finally lemon rind, for a citrussy burst…
I tied the bundles tightly together and wove a slice of dried orange to each, before hanging them up to dry out completely (slice a bag of oranges and arrange the slices on a baking tray, then dry out overnight on the lowest possible oven temperature; the scent is amazing and they look lovely..)
Once they’re completely dried out, you can wrap them lightly in twists of brown paper (this stops them becoming tangled up and unravelling), and then use them to kindle a delicious, scented fire.
For those without both the glory and the inconvenience of an open fire; try making these and simmering them in a saucepan on the stove instead for instant winter atmosphere and warmth; perfect for the bleak wintery months ahead.
Have a wonderful week ahead, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!