Tuesday, December 24, 2013

♬ Countdown to Christmas - Wassail for Saints and Sinners ♬


Photo and Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com

The Wassailing Song - Jim Carrol via You Tube

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Back in the day, the excitement in our house on Christmas Eve was so intense that it could be cut with a knife. To keep the children from bouncing off the walls, two other moms and I formed an impromptu children's choir that would go caroling on Christmas Eve. The children had bell clear voices and once they understood they were not trick or treating, we could kill a couple of hours entertaining older neighbors with traditional Christmas carols, that even then, were not often heard. Between us there were 11 children, so supervision of the already excited crew was no easy matter, but it kept the kids occupied and gave us the opportunity to wish the neighbors a timely happy holiday. The outing, of course, ended with hot drinks, usually chocolate, and cookies that were never in short supply. While the children left cookies with the neighbors, an exchange of sorts developed and it seemed they came home with more than they had delivered. Times have changed and certain traditions seem to have fallen by the wayside. Caroling, at least in our area, is one of them. I miss it. Wassailing, or caroling, can be traced back to pre-Christian times when villagers would travel through fields and orchards singing in a raucous fashion believed to drive away evil spirits that might prevent a successful harvest. The custom evolved and in Victorian England, wassailers went from door to door, singing and drinking to the health of their neighbors. The carolers would return home after a night of singing and warm themselves by the fire with a pot of spiced wassail I suspect those whose wassail was fortified with spirits slept quite well. I'm featuring two recipes for wassail in tonight's post. One is fortified, the other is not. If you are looking for a novel punch to serve your guests this holiday, one of these might be just what you are looking for. Here is how they are made.

Wassail for Saints...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
3/4 cup white sugar
4 whole cloves
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
8 cups apple juice

Directions:
In a saucepan, combine sugar, cloves, water, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool for 1 hour. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, and apple juice. Return to heat, and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving. Yield: 16 servings.

Photo and Recipe courtesy of Southern Living magazine

Wassail for Sinners...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Southern Living magazine

Ingredients:
2 (12-oz.) bottles brown ale
2 cups apple cider
1 cup port
1 cup lemonade
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 apple, diced
2 whole allspice
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Garnish: lemon wedges, cinnamon sticks (optional)

Directions:
Stir together ale, apple cider, port, lemonade, brown sugar, diced apple, whole allspice, 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cardamom in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 3 hours or until hot. Remove diced apple, if desired. Ladle into mugs. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 14 (1/2 cup) servings.

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13 comments:

Gerlinde in Dallas said...

The "sinful" version looks really tasty. Happy Holidays!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I'll bet the caroling was a blast Mary! I made your Stollen and it is amazing! Wanted to say thank you for a great recipe that will be a part of my Christmas from here on out! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas:@)

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mmm, I must be a sinner because I'm going for the one with the port.

Loved your stories of carolers and Christmas past. Yes, too many old traditions are falling by the wayside. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas Mary.
Sam

Jenn S said...

My parents used to go caroling with their friends when I was a kid.. but they went to only a few houses and it was of other friends that would then invite them in for drinks afterwards.. and these were drinks for sinners, of course!! lol
Loved your story of past caroling.. I think that is a tradition I would love to see come back!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mary!!

bellini said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Mary. Christmas is not the same without the kids, but I am looking forward to the day when we may have grandkids.

From the Kitchen said...

Wassail, wassail!! I'll join Sam and have the one with the port.

Best,
Bonnie

rosadimaggio63 said...

A very Merry Christmas !
May the New year 2014 be a wonderful year for you.
Myriam :)

Pondside said...

Merry Christmas, Mary! Your Wassail looks very good. Like you, we have a family tradition of caroling that seems to have disappeared - so sad. Our tradition was to drink Glog afterwards. We still drink the Glog, but the singing is done around our own fireplace.

Beverly said...

I do love wassail. And, I prefer the Sinners. lol

Merry Christmas to you and all you hold dear, Mary.♥

Big Dude said...

You were some clever moms. Have a wonderful Christmas Mary

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

It is a shame that so many of the Christmas traditions are not being carried one. I would have loved to have had your family visit our home…I'm sure it was a wonderful experience. I hope you and your family enjoy Christmas, Mary.

Jeannie Tay said...

Merry Christmas Mary��

Pam said...

Merry Christmas Mary!

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