Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Recipe for You - NaBloPoMo Special Feature

For many years our Christmas Eve gathering was held at my place. It wasn't easy jamming thirty or more people into my four-room apartment, but between the kitchen and living room, the kids hiding upstairs in my son's room, and the smokers hanging outside for several minutes at a time, we managed.

I made Wassail every year and it is one of two things that my family always looked forward to enjoying at my home. The recipe I used was taken from a Betty Crocker's New Christmas Cookbook from 1993.

1 gallon apple cider
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 three-inch sticks cinnamon
2 oranges, studded with cloves

Heat all ingredients except oranges to boiling in Dutch oven; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, strain. Pour into small punch bowl. Float oranges in bowl. Serve hot. 32 servings.

Since I am way too lazy to strain anything, I usually tie up the allspice and cloves in cheesecloth and just remove it after 20 minutes. I also keep this on the stove instead of transferring it to a punch bowl. If you decide to use a punch bowl, fill it with very warm water first, dump the water and then slowly pour the Wassail in. This will avoid cracking the punch bowl.


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