Tag: #Baltimore

Family Recipe: Wassail

Happy holidays! Well, in preparation of the holiday party and New Year season, I have a little recipe for you all. I have seen feedback that many people don’t like getting a story before the recipe so I’m going to post the recipe straightaway. If you want to hear about Wassail – go read below the recipe for that.

image description: image of cranberry juice, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, an orange, and whole cloves all assembled on a blue mat.

Wassail

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
2 Quarts apple juice or cider
1 pint cranberry juice
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp whole allspice
1 whole small orange, studded with whole cloves
1 cup rum (optional)
1 tsp aromatic bitters (optional)

Instructions
Put all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 4 to 8 hours.
Serve warm from crockpot..

image description: a white ceramic mug with cider in it and an orange slice on the rim, then two orange slices, a cinnamon stick, and whole cloves arranged on a blue mat.

Wassail is hot mulled cider – many different formulations exist over different cultures – my mother’s family is part British so it’s possible this is an old family tradition. I was always under the impression that most of my family’s traditions derived from their time spent stationed on the Army base in Germany though.

The word, according to Wiki, is derived from the Medieval Christmastide tradition of wassailing – or an English drinking ritual to guarantee a good harvest in the new year.

Wassail is a drink that we have made every single holiday as far as I can remember. Thanksgiving – when we celebrated it – included putting the Wassail on early in the morning and beginning to drink it by noon. Also, I personally have never had the alcoholic version, so this was a very innocent tradition from my childhood.

When I had my first holiday party in our home in Atlanta, I made wassail as one of the things I had – it was one of the biggest endeavors I ever undertook – but it was so much fun! I haven’t managed to replicate it in Baltimore mostly because of the size of our row home.

Hopefully you enjoy this recipe too! Let me know what you think.

❤ J

Airstream Adventures: Ruggable

image description: a silver airstream hooked up to a silver truck from a distance – the foreground and parking area are gravel and there are trees losing their fall leaves.

I’m afraid I’m not the first person to say this, but living in a tiny home on wheels is a dirty business. Even when we take our shoes off immediately upon entering Twinkie – there’s still going to be an abundance of dirt, leaves, and rocks depending on the weather, the time of year, and the environment you’re staying in. I have only encountered paved RV parks a few times and honestly, it takes something away from the appeal!

That being said, we also have two miniature schnauzers. Even if we’re only gone for a week, they have a tendency to get leaves stuck in their beards, and even though we don’t keep them in show style cuts with the finishings – they track in all sorts of things on their fur (usually leaves, thankfully not too hard to clean up).

image description: a blonde sitting in the doorway of an airstream with one salt and pepper schnauzer on her lap and a black and silver schnauzer laying beside her in the doorway.

Our current rug has been in this Airstream since we bought it. Airstreams are generally not carpeted, especially not the modern ones. Ours is no exception, with the flooring throughout being a light grey pebbled look. I bought the rug on a whim and I rather enjoy the colors although they don’t entirely take into account our decorating scheme – they are a medallion print in orange, tan, and grey.

We have worked hard to keep this typical rug clean over the years – we usually spray a diluted mix of Oxiclean and water on it and vacuum to dry – and obviously vacuum the worst of the dirt up often! (I will give a hearty support to Oxiclean, though! Our best friend spilled chinese food in the back of our then brand-new truck and Oxiclean got it out! We used precisely the method I mention above.)

That said, this rug has kind of worn out it’s welcome. It’s tired, and we’re tired of it after five years. I think that length of time means it’s probably acceptable to replace it. Enter, Ruggable. I saw my first Ruggable rug in either an RV showroom or a camping store and immediately knew this would solve so many problems! However, the color they had wasn’t great with our Serenity’s color scheme so I waited until I got home to look for a runner that would be a good fit. A peek at our current runner below (and color scheme).

Ruggable is a 2-piece rug system that consists of a removable, waterproof and stain-resistant Rug Cover and a nonslip Rug Pad. Finally, a rug you can actually throw in the washing machine! This is the thing the RV community has needed for years! Anyway, we checked them out online, here.

Below we have a selection of runners my partner and I have narrowed down to choose from – and here’s where we’re stuck! We like different runners for different reasons. So I am going to attach all three in a gallery, and then add links. You let me know in the comments which runner you would choose for our space!

If you’re interested in Ruggable, you can get a discount from them on your first order by following this link. And I might get a discount eventually too. Win-win.

Runner 1. Watercolor Floral Coral Rug.

Runner 2. Santa Fe Multicolor Rug.

Runner 3. Endah Multicolor Rug.

Truly, we would love your help making this decision! We love them all for different reasons. The first reminds me of what we currently have (though I have no idea why), the second is very reminiscent of our time and upbringing in the American Southwest, and the third, an ikat print, is my very favorite print that ever existed, but I’m not sure about it on a rug.

What do you think?! Would you use a Ruggable in your home? I’m looking forward to your input on my dilemma.

❤ Jennifer

Disability Pride Month Reads: Lost in Time

image description: photo of an opened book with an iPhone and glasses on top of it. the phone displays the cover of Lost in Time by A.L. Lester – which depicts an old time scene with two men in twenties clothing. image from @CogentHippo on Twitter.

Really lovely concept. This book is about a man from modern day who uses ‘magic’ to time travel back to the 1920s. He originally goes looking for his sister – and he finds a lot more than he bargained for.

I love history, particularly the 1920s. I loved the ideas in the book, and even got into the paranormal themes. However, I felt like there was no real wrap up – even in the sequel and the prequel (I read both, trying to get a satisfying ending).

I’m also not entirely sure where disability own voices came in. I can see LGBTQIA own voices pretty clearly in the book – as the main character Lew meets a gentleman who becomes a fling in the bathhouses – and then falls for another main character.

If you’re looking for a good story, it’s a fun read, but if you REALLY want your books to have a satisfying ending – I would avoid.