October hit Ottawa with a sudden drop in temperature and we were forced to turn the heat on for the first time this year, which made me sad. I don’t like the way a sealed-in house gets musty over the summer or winter, and with our massive piles of sad-looking carpet (which, no matter how much I steam clean it, still retains essence of smoker and large smelly dog, the previous tenants), our house gets musty – fast.
I’m not a huge fan of artificial perfumes or masking smells with other smells, but sometimes my cleaning regime needs a bit of a boost. I picked up these pine cones while walking Gren out on the Farm. You’ll note the dog poop bag I used to haul them home. This is often how I bring home my dog-walking finds.
Wash them carefully in warm water to get rid of dirt and bugs and whatnot.
Look at the fun colour they turned the water! Tannins are an interesting scientific thing.
Shake them off and lay them on a baking sheet (if you like the baking sheet, line it with parchment paper to prevent any sap from sticking) and bake them for 1 hour at about 200°F so that they can dry out completely. Wet pine cones = mouldy pine cones, and we don’t want that.
While that was going on, I quickly zested a lemon and an orange that had seen better days and tossed the peel into the oven as well to dry out. Waste not!
When the pine cones are fully cooled, sprinkle them liberally with the essential oils of your choice. I went with clove and orange oils.
Seal them (and any other scented objects you have, like the peel) in a plastic bag for 1 week to meld the scents together.
Then display in a nice bowl and give them a good sniff as you walk by.