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November 26, 2007


Marti Johnson (aka Sock Queen)

I always love the hot cider, and because I also love cranberries, I add a jug of cran-apple juice to the mix. Not only does it taste good hot, those cranberries add all sorts of extra vitamins and cold-fighting nutrients. A cup of that hot juice and the old-fashioned Snickerdoodles beside it; how much better can life get?!

Kathy in KS

I second the apple cider thingie, and I've never tried the cranberry - that sounds WONDERFUL. I usually get a big jug of cider, then buy some food safe cinn sticks (must be food safe or food grade or whatever they're calling it, they're in the spice aisle with the ground cinn, only ground cinn doesn't really mix in, so you really have to splurge and get the sticks), an orange, and some cloves if you want. Put all the cider in a big crock pot, or in a soup pot on the stove, and put in a couple of cinn sticks, and cut off a chunk of the orange peel and stick a couple of cloves in it. That will make it way easier to fish out later, rather than trying to find those little cloves. Let it simmer for a few hours. YUMMY. Also goes great with oatmeal cookies, pumpkin cookies, banana bread, etc etc. If you want to make sure James sleeps a while, you can add a little liquor too.


I have found that a drink we call "Irish Tea" is very helpful when getting sick. It is a cup of boiling water, a shot of whiskey, a teaspoon of honey and a dash of salt. It truly does have medicinal purposes and is lovely on a cold night.


Basic: Hot lemonade sweetened with honey, and a tot of booze if inclined. Especially good for colds or flu, but nice when you're just chilly, too.

A little effort, although you can make up batches ahead of time and store in fridge: real masala chai. About 1 cup cold water to 2 teabags of black tea per person. Toss in a pot along with cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, maybe a few cracked peppercorns. (Whole spices or fresh-ground/crushed are better, but ground will do. Using ground spices will leave a really thick sludge when you use enough, so it's even more imperative to strain. Experiment to get the right amount of spices; it's all to personal taste, but don't skimp too much.) Barely simmer about 10-15 minutes. Strain. Fill a mug halfway with the tea mixture, add a glug of half&half, top off with milk, sweeten to taste (add a dash of vanilla if you like, not authentic but good); heat in microwave until steaming. Heckuva lot better than what you'll get at anyplace but an Indian restaurant!

More work but worth it: Hot Buttered Rum Mix (which is also great without the rum if you don't drink, or for kids.) 1 qt. vanilla ice cream, a 1-lb. box powdered sugar, 1 lb. butter, 2 tbspns. cinnamon, 1 tbspn. nutmeg. Let ice cream soften a little; soften butter to spreadable consistency. In large mixer bowl, blend everything until well mixed. Repack in freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lid and whack into freezer. To use, boil some water, scoop 2-3 tbsps. of mix in a mug, add a jigger of rum (or not), fill with boiling water. Yum. (Obviously this makes a ton. Halve or quarter if you aren't having lots of thirsty, cold guests.)

Then sing wassail or something. ;)

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