A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

“Here we go a-wassailing…”! February 4, 2010

Filed under: Crazy Good Food,Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Scooby Snacks — Janine Chance @ 4:00 am

I never knew what the whole ‘wassailing’ thing was until this past Christmas.  A friend gave me a brief description when I asked if anyone wanted spiced apple cider.  He said, “I would love a wassail.”

When I asked what it was, exactly, he explained that long ago, (how far the tradition dates back is unknown) people would make a “house-visit wassail”, a spiced apple cider which was made on their wood burning stove.  It was left for a while to steep with different spices and citrus until it was warm, sweet and cinnamon-y.  It often was served with a slice of bread they called a ‘sop’.  I can’t get into the whole ‘sop’ thing, but I have made quite a few pitchers of wassail this winter and they seem to be welcomed wherever I take them!  It’s a nice break from, or classy alternative to the usual coffee, or hot chocolate.

So the next time you have a meeting, a luncheon planned with ‘the girls’, or the kids are needing something to warm them up after a day of playing in the snow, make a treat everyone will love.  Treat them to a wonderfully warm, soothing cup of wassail.   It truly will warm you, body, mind and soul!  It also makes your house smell amazing!

My Quick Homemade Wassail Recipe

1 64 oz. bottle of apple cider

1 1/2 tsp. whole allspice

8  cinnamon sticks

1/2 – 3/4 c. brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

3 TBSP. fresh orange zest, or the rind from 1/2 of an orange

1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pot on medium heat.  Bring cider to a boil and then lower the heat, and  simmer for about 1/2 hour.  (You can allow the wassail to simmer for quite some time, or serve after 1/2 hr)  Strain the wassail over a pitcher, but put the cinnamon sticks back in the wassail and only discard the allspice and orange rind.  Serve hot and enjoy~!  There are many different wassail recipes…this is one I made up one day with whatever ingredients I had on hand.  Let me know what you think!

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