Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mulled Cider and Muddled Thoughts

We were off to such a good start around here with our Christmas preparations, but a vicious head cold has rendered the wee ones and I useless. You know you're sick when the everyday motions become huge hurdles, and you congratulate yourself on having two babies fed and dressed by 11:00 AM. Thank goodness the Christmas cards are almost done, the boxes of goodies mailed to loved ones far away, and the shopping taken care of, or I'd really be freaking out. Still, pray that I shake this, because I have a bevy of baking to attend to.

On a happier note, we had the prettiest blanket of snow blow in today. With the wind whipping around the eaves, swirling the fast-falling flakes, I was happy to have a mug of this hot spiced apple cider to keep me warm.

Look at the fragrant ingredients that make this cider so aromatic: cinnamon, cloves, star anise, bay leaves, ginger and lemongrass. Mmm, it's practically a cure for a cold in itself.
My husband likes this cider as sweet as it can be, but if I'm offering it to children, or drinking it while sick as I am now, I prefer to pass on the brown sugar. Feel free to spike it if you like, I won't say I pass on that!

Mulled Cider (makes 5 cups)
(Adapted from In Praise of Apples by Mark Rosenstein)

4 cups fresh apple cider
1/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1 star anise

1/2 teaspoon peeled, sliced, fresh ginger

1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (or 1 sliced lemon)

1/2 bay leaf

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Place over medium heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain and serve.


Cheryl Arkison said...

Lemongrass? Interesting touch. I miss getting fresh cider here.

kickpleat said...

wow, looks amazing. too bad you are sick but i'm sure a nice warm drink is comforting. i'm also sure a shot of whisky wouldn't be out of place either ;)

Roving Lemon said...

Hi Aimée--I recently discovered your blog (I already forget how!) and I have just finished reading through the archives from the start to today. It's addictively enjoyable and inspiring, and especially nice to hear about life and food in Montréal, where I used to spend a lot of time a few years back and still visit whenever I can. Can't wait to see what's coming next....

Culinary Wannabe said...

I feel your pain! Only I'm just happy to have the dog fed by 11. :) How I would LOVE a glass of this right now. It's just what a soar throat needs. Sending get well vibes your way.

Maria said...

I will take a glass of this. It looks great!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I am going to have to try this. Lemon grass is one of my favorite aromatics. YAY!!!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Hope you and your boys feel better soon!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hope you all feel better soon.

Is the fresh apple cider alcoholic? I don't think we can get non-alcoholic cider in England? Don't faint but you may get a parcel this side of Christmas!!!

Hedgie said...

Okay, I'm going out right now and catch something so I'll have an excuse for making this mulled cider.

The topmost image in this post is absolutely gorgeous, by the way, more than lovely enough to be framed and hung in a kitchen or breakfast room.

Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic! I have lemongrass in my herb garden that I need to use soon too.

Anonymous said...

Love your pitcher... and the cider of course. :) Feel better soon.

Aimée said...

Hi Cheryl- It's subtle, but nice.

Hi kickpleat- is that what you prescribe? :)

Hi roving lemon- Thanks for reading!! Wow, I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog. See you around.

Hi culinarywannabe- Sniff, sniff. I feel the NeoCitron kicking in.

Hi Maria- Cheers!

Hi Michelle- It's GREAT for holiday parties. I try to always have a gallon on hand.

Hi Ingrid- Many thanks

Hi Amanda- Yes it is just pure apple juice in it's brown form.
Ohh, I'm excited about a parcel!!

Hi Hedgie- Why thank you. That's a special jug to me from my home town in BC.

Hi Lisa- Lucky you! It must be amazing to get it that fresh.

Hi Caviar- Thanks, I'm resting up.

LyB said...

Aimée, I'll have mine spiked, please! My shopping isn't done, my cards aren't sent out and I haven't started baking either. I AM freaking out! :S
Those pics are fab, by the way. :)

Emily said...

Hope you feel better soon!

The cider sounds delicious.

CookiePie said...

That looks delicious and perfect for a chilly winter's day! Hope you and the babies feel better quick!

Terrie said...

I absolutely love the first photo in your cider blog. Worth framing and giving as a wonderful Christmas or just-because gift! (hint-hint)(not really - it's a real hint!)!. Have your ever thought of starting a photo blog too? You are so talented and gifted in this area. I'd love to see some famous artist try to render that photo, it's a winner!
Glad you and the kids are better.
Love, Grammy

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I hope your recover fast. Love that pitcher. Beautiful.

redmenace said...

What a lovely blog! I love lemongrass. Thanks for the idea!

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you feel better! Drink some nice cider!

Aimée said...

Hy Lyb- Yikes! The elves aren't coming to give you a hand, you know!

Hi Em- Thanks, I'm getting there.

Hi Cookie pie- Yep, it's nice to warm your hands up with!

Hi Grammy- Wow thanks!! it would be nice in a kitchen, I suppose.

Hi Helene- It's handmade by friends of my family. Isn't it unique?

Hi Blond Duck- Many thanks!

Kendra said...

Dumb question. I'm planning to serve this for my annual cookie exchange. What liquor do you recommend spiking it with? My girlfriends enjoy a cocktail. :)


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