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Making the house smell good

Aside from the wonderful aroma of home cooking, there is some concoction you cook on the stove top that includes Chinese 5 Spice Powder along with other spices. You allow it to brew on a low heat. Any ideas?

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  1. I don't know the recipe you are asking about, but my mother used to simmer cinnamon, orange rind, and cloves on our wood burning stove. It made the house smell wonderful.

      1. re: ESNY

        Don't ever make bacon when others in your house are trying to sleep in on a weekend. Wakes 'em up immediately. Impossible to resist. :)

        1. re: cayjohan

          LOL! A couple of weekends ago, my housemate said that me cooking bacon while she was trying to sleep in was "the worst thing you've ever done to me."

      2. Bake some bread, you can't beat it.

        1. Fresh-baked, homemade apple pie.

          1. Don't brew, toast selected combo of spices almost to smoking point for the aromas. Experiment.

            1. Call me crazy but I love the smell of a grill

              Fresh herbs hanging in my kitchen

              Pumpkin spices, mulled with cider

              Ditto on bread baking

              1. Mulled wine or cider in a crockpot

                1. If you are trying to sell your house, I once read that a universally liked scent is that of lemons.

                  I personally like the idea of chinese five spice powder simmered in some water........I'll have to try it next time the dog gets smelly-wet. Hate using air freshener spray.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: powella

                    My mother is in real estate, and she always recommended putting some vanilla extract on a light bulb and turning it on just before the buyers arrive. Last house we sold, I happened to be baking chocoolate chip cookies when the people who bought it first arrived and they fell in love with my house instantly. When you're selling your house, it doesn't hurt to be doing something foodwise when they arrive, it feels so much more homey.

                    1. re: coll

                      The person I bought from had a dish of something in the oven which I suspect she used to make the house smell nice - I didn't realise and then 'cooked' the thing. Now that wasn't a nice smell...

                      1. re: ali patts

                        Yeah, I was talking edible stuff, and it doesn't hurt to be munching on it a little too. It works psychologically. Another house we sold (I know, I think my husband is part gypsy) they arrived for the first time as we were sitting on the porch celebrating happy hour, and until the day we closed, the buyer kept telling us he could just imagine himself doing the same thing.

                  2. Into a pot of boiling water, place Apple peelings and cores, orange and lemon rinds, a Cinnamon Stick, a few Cloves, and a piece of Star Anise. Bring to a boill, then lower to a very low simmer. Keep it going on your stove, adding water when the level gets too low. You can keep the citrus peel and apple peelings in a Zip Lock freezer bag in your freezer until needed.

                    Smells like Christmas all year round.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Fleur

                        I actually did boil some orange rind, cinnamon, and cloves the other day to get rid of the strong smell of the lamb I'd cooked the day before. It got rid of the smell, but the following morning when I got to work, I noticed that my coat (coat rack is near the kitchen) smelled strongly like curry!

                      2. I'm going to buck the sweet/spice trend to recommend:

                        Caramelized onions!

                        Make up a long-cooking pot of these babies, and everyone will drool when they walk in the house. I was making some last Halloween, during trick-or-treat time, and at least half the kids mentioned that "your dinner smells great!"


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          Anne, thanks for the onion-booster post, and I have to agree - just this week my daughter hauled a "buncha girls" in at suppertime. I was cooking onions. They all said " Wow! smells great in here!" before going off to their pursuits. I was a little surprised, I have to admit.

                          Who knew?!

                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Yep. I agree on the onions garnering comments. Any dish that starts with sauteeing onions will automatically garner a comment from my husband. "Oh, man, dinner smells great!"

                          2. Hello,

                            I put on a pot of mulled wine! This is perfect for having guests as it makes the house smell ultra christmas-y and the guests can help themselves. I put it on the lowest heat on my stove top but you coiuld also do it in the slow cooker.


                            1. My recipe smells like mulled wine, and can be kept going on the stove all the time.

                              As for the other smells, like onions, it smells good while you are cooking it , but smells stale and nasty to many after a while.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Fleur

                                Yeah, I think we've all lived in an apartment building where one hallway smells like cabbages that were boiled in 1973!

                              2. Like Glencora said: crock pot. For safety and ease. Your spice/potpourri of choice can be safely simmered in a covered crockpot, with almost no maintenance other than daily topping with water, and no fear of scorching a pan or burning the house.

                                When you're going to use the crock for a meal, it's time to toss out the biomass of the potpourri.