Friday, December 17, 2010

Mormon Wassail

I think these days most wassail is without alcohol anyway, right?  Or it that just the circles I run in?  This wassail is culturally Mormon because it's the wassail I make, it's made in a crockpot, and it is frugal in how it uses relatively inexpensive ingredients to make something fancier.  You can usually get a deal on the oranges this time of year.

One gallon ordinary apple juice
1 cup of good applesauce, to cloud up the juice.
Zest of one orange (zest!  not grated peel!  No pith!  No chunks!)
Tablespoon of cinnamon, or more to taste.  Stir to get that cinnamon powder to get wet and stop floating.

Put that in a crock pot on high, at least an hour before you're serving this.

Decorate the bottom of two or three oranges or tangerines by sticking ~20 cloves in each.  I like to do circles.  Slice the bottom of the fruit off, float it into the punch, peel side up.

Make the same number of pretty slices of the oranges or tangerines, float those as well.

Serve in crock pot, with cinnamon sticks on the side for stirrers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Food Plans

What are your Christmas season food ambitions?

I did make Latkes during Hanukah week.   Kinder, Gentler Latkes from had good detailed instructions.  And, they were delicious as leftovers too.  Yes, I made that many.  I also made the Un-Fried Potato Latkes, but they weren't as successful.

So during the holiday my ambitions are:

--make wassail tomorrow so my daughter can take it to her church activity.
--I want a bunch of pomegranates in a bowl to admire and also to eat.
--more delicious salads like lettuce/pears/fresh cranberries/cheese/dressing, like this NYTimes salad winner.  The directions on the NYT site are better than on the original blog.

--I'd like to get a fondue set for Christmas and try fondues of cheese, of spicy peanut butter, or of chocolate.
--individual homemade pizzas?  I've discovered I like pizza without cheese.
--my daughter had some kind of delicious baked eggs in New York City.  Must try to imitate.
--what easy stuff dinners can we have, so we can eat but also run around shopping and having Christmas outings?

--I want to make an orange cake again, with chocolate frosting.
--those frosted cookies my mom always made and we always decorated.

And not:
--the feast of the seven fishes.  I have NO impulse to do it; so much for my vaunted ambition.