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.
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)
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..
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.
This holiday season is challenging for me, now that we only have two dogs and my longtime service dog has gone over the rainbow bridge. But for some reason, concentrating on the pet dog and service dog in training we do have is helpful to distract me and make life a little brighter.
There isn’t much more fun for me than giving my service dog in training pup new toys and sometimes finding new (or replacing old) devices that make our lives with pets easier.
SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot & Stain Cleaner – We have replaced this a few times. Not by any fault of the spot bot itself, more because of inattentive cleaning patterns. It works GREAT. Got our carpets in our old rental that were off white when we moved in back to true white when we moved out in SPITE of five years of pets and being right on the backdoor. – If you have ADD be aware that it needs to be immediately emptied and cleaned when it’s done cleaning the rugs otherwise it does tend to gunk up the gears.
Dog Safety Vest Harness – We bought two of these for use in all car travel with our dogs. It keeps them safe and keeps me from spending all my time being worried about them falling off the seat.
Automatic Ball Launcher – I do not have and have not used this, but it looks like it would be a really fun toy for both our toy-chase obsessed SDiT and his buddy the cat.
Natural Cow Hooves for Dogs – We have these and have replenished them for the dogs every year or so. There are plenty to go around for the two of them and they last a long time.
Zuke’s Mini Natural Soft Treats – Dog treats are a very individual sort of thing, but we have used these mini treats very successfully in training and the pups love them. The size makes it much easier to avoid overfeeding.
Deer Antler Dog Chews – my older dogs never got into these antler chews but the SDiT loves them so he’ll probably get a pack in his stocking this year.
Dino Dog Toy – This dinosaur dog toy has chew guard technology. It also has a squeaker – which is one of my dogs favorite things ever. We haven’t tried the chew guard technology yet, but I’ll report back!
What are your pet’s favorite things? Any toys we should look into?