Besides my mom and sisters, there are two special women in my life. Aunt Louella and Aunt Clara.
Aunt Louella’s house, filled with love, warmth, a bear hug and sweet kiss, always smelled of food. Delicious food. She could have a meal on the table before most women could gather their ingredients. A Godly woman, it didn’t matter if you were family or a stranger, the welcome sign was at all times in view. While I’d love to give you her biscuit recipe, there’s no way. She didn’t have a recipe. She’d give birth to a pan of catheads, brushed with butter, before you could barely set the table. 🙂 Oh…the jams and jellies, along with vegetables, she canned. Too good.
When another Godly woman, Aunt Clara, made this pungent, seriously warming drink, her entire house oozed with an amazing delicate scent that lingered long after the fireplace lost its magic. I still have a taste for Wassail, also known as hot cider, and I believe it permeated my sense of taste and smell for life! So did the pancakes that graced her table every Sunday morning. I’ve never seen her without a smile, a hug and a kind word.
While there are many versions of Wassail, a seriously spicy, flavorful cup of hot drink is a few short minutes away. Granted the drink is traditional at Christmas, but I like it anytime, especially during cold weather months. As much as I love coffee, sometimes my taste buds need a little boost. This drink does the job every time. This isn’t Aunt Clara’s recipe, but still almost as tasty.
8 cups apple cider
2 cups orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
4 whole cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves, or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Transfer liquids into a large pot, add remaining ingredients and place on stove.
Lower heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes, to meld the flavor. Pour into cups or favorite mugs. Serve with cheese straws, crackers or cookies. Find a spot by the fire and enjoy!
If you want something even quicker and easier, grab a box of Raspberry Zinger tea from the grocery shelf. I add a packet of non-sugar sweetener or one teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon. So good and spicy to perk up an afternoon of writing!
Do you have special memories or a warm drink to share?
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