mulled and merry

25 11 2009

In late autumn or early winter, there are a few quirks that I revel in:

1. Traveling
Wherever: down the block, the next town over, a road trip, a train ride, an international plane ride. For Bebe, this also means naps en route.

sleepy

I love being in motion at this time of year, and watching other people (one of the reasons I love the movie, Love Actually – they totally got the sense of this right – and Ani DiFranco’s “The Arrivals Gate”).

2. Having a Tolkien marathon
Watching the extended or regular editions; re-reading The Silmarillion; and listening to the BBC radio edition of the LOTR. This is sometimes a solo reverie, but it’s usually shared with a few other people, not counting my very patient spouse.

3. Making mulled wine or cider
My usual contribution to winter parties. See recipe at bottom of this post.

4. Holiday frenzy
Pre-craft, this usually involved lots of shopping, christmas caroling, and enthusiastic experiments with baking. Also exams and term papers. Or grading exams and term papers. On two separate years, getting married and having a baby also squeezed into this timeframe.

Post-craft (and currently), this includes overambitious projects, frantic/gleeful trips to craft supply store(s), ridiculously late nights, fabric strewn everywhere, and very mild hysteria. Note: the mulled wine is very good for treating the hysteria.

This year I induced more frenzy into the craft schedule by taking part in a handmade stocking stuffer exchange.

cloudies 2009 wip

Made & mailed off 20 wee cloud softies for ages toddler – 3 years.

cloudies 2009 happy

They could be tiny lovies, or door hangers, or ornaments. Something for winter snowstorms or summer thunderstorms, depending on your end of hemisphere.

cloudies 2009 stormy

Done and done, so we’ll return to our usual holiday frenzy. But first: Thanksgiving! Today I’m working on our contributions to the feast: apple spice cake for the dessert table, crab ball & crackers for the appetizers table, and mulled wine for the adult table. I hope your weekend is very merry, we’ll be back next week.

Mulled Wine or Cider

Ingredients
750 mL red wine or apple cider*
1 orange
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
3-5 whole cloves
5 cardamon pods, cracked
2-3 Cups water
3-5 whole allspice (optional)

Instructions
1. Peel orange. Eat fruit or give it to someone else. Keep the peel.
2. In a large pot, heat water, orange peel, sugar & spices on medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Do not boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add wine or cider and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain & discard the peel & spices. Serve warm or cold – let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Note: This mulled apple cider is non-alcoholic. The apple cider ingredient is raw apple juice, not hard cider. For an adult beverage version, add 1/2 cup brandy or rum at step #3.

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5 responses

25 11 2009
Sam

Cannot wait to see you tomorrow!!! 🙂

26 11 2009
quirkygranolagirl

The Bebe napping picture is so cute. We leave for my folks’ house today. Hope my babe sleeps like that.

2 12 2009
Virginia

1. I miss my baby napping on the fly. The only time she does it now is when she’s truly exhausted and on the subway.

2. I ADORE both “Love Actually” and the Ani song “The Arrivals Gate” awesome both.

3. Apparently we may share a part of a soul. Or something. Because mulled wine is one of my favoritest things in the whole wide world.

3 12 2009
RunninL8

Hey there from Alaska! I am LOVING your blog! Beautiful photos and inspiration! Wish I had been on the ball and gotten on one of these great handmade exchanges!
I’ve been discovering a lot of new (to me) blogs and it’s been wonderful to find so many like minded people!
Feel free to drop by my blog as well. I’ve been enjoying posting more prolifically lately- Advent/holiday gift ideas, recipes, insights and tutorials. http://www.mountainpulse.blogspot.com/
Off I go to peruse more of your blog-Yay for Ani Difranco!!!
Happy holidays!

1 01 2010
pink and green mama MaryLea

Your blog is adorable. Thank you so much for the adorable Rain Cloud ornament, my daughter loves it : ) Wishing you a creative and happy 2010!

fondly,
pink and green mama
marylea




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