Our Family Wassail

I adore Junior League cookbooks.   I have a ton of them and one of my favorites is a local one:   Stir Ups.    We grew up close to Enid, Oklahoma (from whence this book hails).    I would put this cookbook up against any of the JL books.   It is superior and would make a great gift for any cookbook collector.

stir ups

We have a lot of favorite family recipes that come from this book as my sister, mother, and I all have copies. Some of our favorites include Oklahoma Baked Beans, “Jeannine Bower’s Hot Artichoke Spread,” and Golden Wassail.   Wassail became a staple at all our holiday functions after we latched on to this recipe.

Our Family Wassail
Adapted from Golden Wassail (by Ruth Dobbs)
Stir Ups by the Junior Welfare League of Enid, OK

4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 (5.5-oz.) cans apricot nectar
4 c. apple cider
1 c. low pulp orange juice
1 6-inch cinnamon stick
1 t. whole cloves
1/2 t. whole cardamom seeds, crushed
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced

Crushed cardamom seeds.

Crushed cardamom seeds.

Combine all juices in a large pot.  Break cinnamon stick into smaller pieces.   Place cinnamon, cloves and cardamom seeds in a spice ball or wrap them up in a cheese cloth pouch.    Add spice ball along with the sliced citrus to the kettle.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and summer 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat (or we just let it simmer on low all afternoon.)   Pour hot wassail into mugs; garnish with the orange or lemon slices.

The juice measurements can be suggestions as can the spices.  I have made this beverage with “more-or-less” of each juice.  Sometimes we add more pineapple juice and sometimes more cider—it depends on how much we need to stretch it.   I have also made this with peach nectar and we  have  been known to throw in a bit of allspice and star anise as well.

Adult-like spirits can be added to this before serving.

Adult-like spirits can be added to this before serving.

Besides the aforementioned idea of buying a vintage copy of  Stir Ups (or any Junior League cookbook, for that matter) for the foodie in your life, I would also recommend putting the ingredients for this beverage in a basket and delivering it to friends on Christmas Eve for a do-it-yourself gift.

 

 

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