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The Pleasures of Tea Potpourri

There is something delightful about walking into a room filled with the fragrant air of potpourri. To make your own, follow this simple recipe. You can be as creative as you like in selecting the blends and essential oils. The most important thing to remember is to use the best ingredients you can find.

1 CUP GREEN CHAI TEA BLEND OF YOUR CHOICE
1 TO 2 TEASPOONS POWDERED ORRISROOT
TO 10 DROPS COMPLEMENTARY ESSENTIAL OIL

In a quart-sized plastic bag, place the tea blend and orrisroot. Blow into the bag as if blowing up a balloon. Once it's inflated, hold the bag shut and shake until the mixture is blended. Open the bag and add the essential oil. Inflate again and shake. Store in a clean, opaque glass or ceramic jar with a screwtop lid or tight- fitting cork for 4 to 6 weeks to cure. Give the jar a good shake to help distribute the different ingredients before removing the potpourri. After it has cured, the potpourri is ready to be placed into a decorative container. For peak fragrance, use enough potpourri to fill the container to the brim.

To refresh potpourri when the fragrance has faded, add a few drops of essential oil. How much is enough? Think of it as adding seasoning to a cooking recipe. Start with less and add more if needed. Also, gently stir the potpourri. This will break or crush petals and leaves and release more scent.

sweet citrus potpourri: Adding dried lemon or orange slices to potpourri gives it a lovely texture, added aroma, and visual appeal. I like to add dried lemon slices to the Soothing Herbal Tea Blend and dried orange slices to the Green Chai Tea Blend. To dry lemon or orange slices, preheat the oven to 175°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut off and discard the rind on both ends of the fruit, exposing the flesh. Carefully cut the fruit into eight to ten 1/8-inch slices. Place the slices on the baking sheet. Bake until dry but not brown, 2 to 3 hours. The rind will have the look of glassine. Remove from the oven and cool completely, turning the slices occasionally. To use, add the slices after the potpourri has cured.