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