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I remember doughnuts, warm apple cider, the smell of pine trees, and crunching pine needles under my feet. We were in the woods picking out our Christmas tree. As one of my earliest memories, I remember little else, but apple cider was involved. It was cold, that I do remember. But since we were somewhere in the vicinity of San Diego county that probably means it was 62* 😀

Right now it truly is cold. Snow is coming down outside and the girls eagerly await the arrival of our city’s annual “Santa on a Fire Truck” tradition. Santa drives around the city with his elves throwing candy to children. Inside Spiced Cider is mulling and the house smells heavenly. It is ready for our chilly little girls to warm themselves after gathering their treats and waving Santa on his way. Maybe appley-spiced goodness will be embedded somewhere in their earliest memories as it is in mine.

Here they are. Trinity is rocking a truly amazing outfit:DSC_0004-001 DSC_0006-001 DSC_0008

While they are very cute and do need warming up, my original motives for making our cider today involved a delivery we are expecting. The other night we had an unexpected knock on our door at 9:00PM. It was a delivery from UPS. The highest temperature in the days preceding today’s snowfall was 13*F. It was probably -2* when this gentleman knocked on our door. All I could think of was how cold it must be to spend extra long hours driving around delivering packages in this Christmas season. I decided then to make cider on days we know we will be receiving deliveries so that we might have a warm treat to offer our delivery people. A sign is on our door, the crock pot is nearby with a stash of disposable hot beverage cups and I hope this small gesture will brighten someone’s day. Are you ordering Christmas gifts online this year? Expecting deliveries on certain days? Make a batch of this cider and share some warmth and cheer this season!

Spiced Cider

modified from lovelygirlsevents.com

Ingredients

  • 64 oz apple juice or cider
  • 1 naval orange, sliced
  • 12-15 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods – slightly crushed
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 – 2 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced – I was out of ginger today so I roughly chopped some candied ginger and threw it in.

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Place all ingredients into a saucepan or a slow cooker. In a saucepan, bring to a simmer for 10 minutes then turn heat down to low, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.

In a crockpot, set on low for 4 hours…or on high for one hour to heat quicker then reduce heat to low until ready to serve.

These days I enjoy a small hit of bourbon and a smidgen of buttershots in my evening cider, but it is good with or without these grown up additions.

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