Much as I love the kitchen smell of onion cooking in olive oil or butter, there comes a point in the evening—or the next day—when that aroma lingers a bit too long. So I turn to this reliable remedy:
Take 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise (or 5 cloves), 5 whole allspice and a 1-inch strip of lemon peel; place in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water on your stove’s back burner. Bring the water to a light boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer. The steam will perfume the kitchen with a bright citrus-spice smell. Note: While you can keep the pan on the heat for about an hour, be sure to refill the water as needed so the pan does not boil dry. Set a kitchen timer so you don’t forget about it.