What the F is Wassail?

I don’t mind telling you that I like to completely nerd out for the holidays. I like to go around calling myself grandma. I attempt to crochet (unsuccessfully), I bake pies (so far, only blueberry), and I decorate like a madwoman, or at least as much as my budget allows.

In the spirit of my yearly letsgetretardedforchristmas state of mind, this past weekend I made my annual batch of wassail. All two of my friends that came over after I made it had never heard of it, which made me question why I’ve made a tradition out of a tradition I know nothing about.

The truth is I can’t freaking remember the exact year I started making it. I got this simple recipe SOMEWHERE and have been serving it every year since, minus the one or two years when making it reminded me too much of the ex. ::insert your sad face or your snarky comment here::

According to the extensive research I’ve done (one-click-wikipedia-style), this hot mulled cider is part of an old English tradition performed with the intention of ensuring a good crop of cider apples for the next year’s harvest (according to wiki-peeps). As you can read here: It also refers to both the salute ‘Waes Hail’, the term itself is a contraction of the Middle English phrase wæs hæil, meaning literally ‘good health’ or ‘be you healthy’…

So, there you have it. Here’s the recipe that I have (I suggest you make it immediately and thank me later):

Half a jug of Cranberry Juice

Half a jug of Apple Juice

1 sliced lemon (add a bit of grating as well)

six cinnamon sticks

About twelve whole cloves

1/3 of a bottle of your favorite dry red wine (I found mine for six bucks at Kroger!)

1 1/3 cups of sugar

Combine juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and add lemon and spices and cook for thirty minutes. When it is hot and ready, add your wine and serve it hot.

Some people place some of those little red hot candies in their cups before they serve it, but the drink is so overly powerful and intense, I don’t find it necessary. Also, it says you can wrap the spices in a cheesecloth as you are simmering. I do this ghetto-style by ripping open a tea bag, replacing the tea with the cloves. One word of advice. Don’t go overboard. This stuff is meant to be sipped. You’ll see why.

On another note, look at my Christmas tree and random decorations (the bf is my favorite piece of decor). He might be mad I posted that one of him sleeping.

The way I feel about my Christmas tree is much like the way most young mothers feel about their newborns. ISN’T SHE LOVELY? LOOK AT THE WAY THE LIGHT SPARKLES OFF OF HER BRANCHES!   Okay, I’m done.

For a poor girl with thirty thousand dollars worth a debt, i didn’t do so bad (referring to the decor, not the bf…though I’m quite pleased with him as well).

Notice: no presents yet.

Pinching pennies until the trip to Germany!

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