Cranberry Orange Stovetop Potpourri

I’ve been trying to define my “home” lately.

Los Angeles is where I live. It’s where all my material belongings are located, where there’s a postal address with my name on it, where my job and friends and anchors are. But every year I fly to Atlanta to spend Christmas with my family, and when people in Los Angeles ask me what my holiday plans are I always say “I’m going home to Atlanta.” After three years in L.A., a part of me still considers Atlanta to be my home.

So I think my home is wherever I spend Christmas. And I like that. I like having two places on different sides of the country where I can live and spend time. Although I decided I wanted to build my life in L.A., my home in the South will always be there for me. I think that’s a pretty great setup, if you ask me.

My plans while I’m home are to wrap up presents, cook and bake like crazy in my mom’s new kitchen, and visit my high school and college friends who I only see once a year when I come back home. And of course, I get to spend Christmas with my family. I’m home for a week, which is the longest amount of time that I’ve spent in Atlanta since I left three years ago. Thank you holiday office closings, and unlimited vacation days.

The first thing I plan to do on Christmas Day, even before tearing open presents, is prepare stovetop potpourri. I love making potpourri with fresh ingredients and letting it simmer on the stove all day because it fills the home with a wonderfully fresh scent that I look forward to every year.

Stovetop potpourri doesn’t even need a recipe. Fill it up with whatever fresh fruits you have on hand, with the seasonings that are within arms length, and whatever your family regularly keeps in the cupboard. This way your home will be filled with scents that are familiar, unique, passed down over time. All I put in mine is two cups of cranberries, two cups of water, a sliced orange, fresh rosemary, a cinnamon stick, and fresh nutmeg. That’s it! And it’s so perfect. Just add more water as needed throughout the day as it simmers on low heat.

Happy holidays to all of you out there, whether you’re spending it at home, where you live, or somewhere completely new. If you’re spending the holiday alone, just know that I’m with you. I’m here in my home, but we are all in this together.

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