Keep the fragrance of summer going in your house with a pretty, sweet-smelling potpourri! I made this mix over the weekend by drying peach peels and pits, cucumber and squash peels, and zucchini chips–all byproducts of other canning, freezing, and dehydrating projects. (And free!)
Cucumber peels in the dehydrator. The cucumbers were used to can sweet pickle relish.
To make a potpourri, you need something fragrant, such as spices, flowers, or fruits. You can also add essential oils, either to deepen the scent or to revitalize a potpourri after it’s been sitting out for awhile. In this potpourri, I’m using peach peels and pits.
Kitten wants to work in food preservation when he grows up. (Peach peels and pits in the dehydrator.)
To round out your potpourri mix, you also need some kind of ornamental filler for color, shape, and texture.
Vegetable peelings curl up prettily in the dehydrator.
In this mixture, I’m using cucumber and squash peels along with zucchini chips. Use whatever you have onhand to put together a gorgeous, scented mixture.
Aside from adding interesting shape and texture to potpourri, drying zucchini as chips is a great way to store them up for use in soups, stews, and casseroles through the winter. You can also toss zucchini chips in oil and salt for a snack.
I dried the peach peels and pits, cucumber and squash peels, and zucchini chips at 125-degrees in my dehydrator. The cucumber, squash, and zucchini dried quickly, in about an hour, and they came out beautifully.
The peach peels and pits took about five hours.
Per each large-size bowl of potpourri, you’ll need about two cups dried peach peels and pits (approximately three to four peaches), one cup each dried cucumber and squash peels (approximately two to three of each), and a half cup dried zucchini chips (one zucchini, or part of one, depending on size). If you want to add essential oils, you can put the entire mix in a quart-size baggie, sprinkle several drops of oil, and seal up then let sit for a week or two to absorb the scent. You can also simply add the scent to the sturdy, absorbent pieces in the mix, such as the peach pits in this case. The dried peach peels and pits retained quite a bit of scent, so I put this bowl out fresh. When the fragrance fades in a few weeks, I’ll add some peach essential oil directly to the pits and put them back in the bowl to liven it up. I’m saving more dried peach peels and pits for simmering potpourri this winter.
You can also display potpourri in glass canning jars.
Tie the jar around the top with ribbon, raffia, or even corn husks.
I wove several pieces of corn husk together then tied them around the jar. I’ll let the husks dry right on the jar. Yes, those are husks from corn grilled on the barbeque, so there are blackened pieces. I decided that was super-cool and that I liked it. Potpourri with an edge of danger. It’s all fun!
So go out to your garden or farmers market and rustle up some potpourri! Bring summer inside.Printer-Friendly
Lovely, I like the natural look of the cornhusks. Makes me want a dehydrater!
On August 31, 2009 at 1:12 am
Great idea! Absolutely beautiful in that canning jar! I like the raffia idea. Corn husk looks good too and I have lots of those this week.
Wonderful way to recycle that garden waste.
Shake it up with a bit of salt before adding any oils to prevent mildew.
On August 31, 2009 at 3:50 am
Ok, the compost bin may have to starve a minute!! Peels of all sorts and pits….never thought of that! Wonderful idea!
The jar looks beautiful!!
P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!
On August 31, 2009 at 4:58 am
Neat post! I think cinnamon, ginger and cloves could be added after the peach scent fades away for the fall and Thanksgiving. Mmmm.
Now that makes me think of cookies.
On August 31, 2009 at 5:38 am
I make potpourri ALL the time- but I usually use dried flowers and herbs. This is a great idea Suzanne- I’m just not sure if I can pull it off successfully. But I DO have a dehydrator that is currently sitting idle.
Thanks for sharing!
On August 31, 2009 at 5:44 am
I don’t have a dehydrator…I might have to invest in one…
On August 31, 2009 at 6:41 am
These are great ways to use up scraps. Now I have to go and buy some peaches. I hope there still are some at the store. I never thought of using peach pits. I’m going to pull my dehydrator out and dry some oranges. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. Thank you
On August 31, 2009 at 7:08 am
Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:
You are so crafty! I love those ideas. Really neat!
On August 31, 2009 at 7:17 am
Miss Becky says:
that is beautiful, and I can smell it from here. with a supervisor like Kitten, how can you go wrong? :yes: :airkiss:
On August 31, 2009 at 7:27 am
.Nancy in Iowa says:
Could you dry them in the oven at a very low temperature?
On August 31, 2009 at 10:08 am
Yes, that’s how I dried stuff before I got a dehydrator. It just takes a long time and hogs your oven.
On August 31, 2009 at 10:15 am
Little N. says “The cat might want to help more if you have meat in there.”
On August 31, 2009 at 5:36 pm
Love it–very pretty and creative. Kitten is an able and willing helper!
On September 1, 2009 at 6:28 am
:sheepjump: Anyone have suggestions on dehydrators?
On September 1, 2009 at 8:06 am
I have a Nesco, which I like, but a lot of people seem to prefer the Excalibur. You can find a discussion about food dehydrators on the forum here:
On September 1, 2009 at 8:30 am