The other week my husband and I stopped by a local Mexican market for some freshly made pico de gallo and tortilla chips, and on the way to the check-out lane there was a huge barrel filled with cinnamon sticks. Instantly, my senses pick-up that aroma of my dad boiling cinnamon sticks, during Thanksgiving and Christmas time, and how the scent slowly spread throughout the home and each room. That subtle but earthy, with a bit of spice, scent is not only completely fitting for the season, but it also gets my tastebuds rolling and my mouth watering for turkey, glazed ham thats topped with pineapple, mashed potatoes, candy yams, and then the start of Christmas joy once Thanksgiving feast has filled our tummies. 

It is not new that certain scents, sounds, or the taste of food and spices, can trigger our senses and recall parts of our childhood, travels, home, and places we love, giving us all those nostalgic feelings.

I share this very simple recipe with you in hopes that this nostalgic scent, which fills the homes of many families during this time of the year, will also fill your home with its lovely scent.


In a small saucepan, boil water and add 2-4 cinnamon sticks. The amount varies on how subtle or strong you want the scent in your home. Once you place the sticks in boiling water, turn down the heat to the lowest temperature for about 15 minutes and then turn-off.  The scent will keep filling your home for hours. 

-- additional --

If you would like to add to the scent, here are some great additions + combos:

• orange slices + mint leaves

• orange slices + ground cloves

• lemon slices + rosemary

• apple slices, whole cloves + teaspoon of vanilla extract