Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Winter Warmers

Nick has had an awful cold this week which hasn't been helped by this cold, dank weather that seems to have settled on us. I thought it would be a good idea to unearth some old folk remedies and discovered that there are some strange names for the drinks out there – reaching back into antiquity:

Grog, glogg, baerenfang (literally, bear catcher, an East Prussian honey liqueur that's frequently added to hot tea), hot buttered rum, gluhwein (glow wine), hoppelpoppel, (a coffee, egg yolk and cream drink) and lambs wool.

Lamb’s Wool, made of Cider or Ale, was used to wassail the Orchards as a thanksgiving for the harvest. They blessed the Apple trees by pouring a libation on them. It takes its name from the frothing white of the cooked apples but my Grandfather used to make it froth up by sticking a red hot poker in it!

Lamb's Wool

6 Apples, baking; cored

2 tbsp Sugar, brown

up to 1/2 cup
2 qt Cider (can be sweet or dry Cider, or a mixture of Cider & Ale)
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger; ground

Roast the Apples in a baking pan at 450F for about an hour, or until they are very soft and begin to burst. (An alternative - and quicker procedure is to peel and boil the Apples until they are very soft and flaky.) You may leave the apples whole, or break them up. In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar a few tablespoons at a time in the Cider or Ale, tasting for sweetness. Add the spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the liquid over the Apples in a large punch bowl, or serve in a large heat resistant mug.

Note: Nuts make a nice accompaniment to Lamb's Wool (they were originally roasted in with the Apples.)

Images Courtesy of

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