What smells like Christmas to me?
That’s easy…cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
What tastes like the holidays to me?
That’s easy…something warm, spicy and mulled.
These mulling spice mixes are easy to make and you can assure the freshness of all the flavors involved. To make small mulling packets to give as gifts, follow the recipe below.
Dried Mulling Spice Mix
slightly adapted from Canadian Living
8 slices ginger
Rind of one orange
Rind of one lemon
12 whole cinnamon sticks (2-3 inches long)
1/4 c. whole cloves
2 T. whole allspice
Peel ginger and slice into eight 1/8 inch slices. Carefully using a vegetable peeler, make rind strips from the orange and the lemon. (Slice orange and lemon to dry as well for another recipe or for potpourri.)Dry ginger and rind in a food dryer or convection oven. If using a convection oven, set temperature to 170 degrees and dry for 3-4 hours, flipping fruit along the way. Turn off the oven and leave the fruit inside overnight to cool and firm up.*Break ginger, rinds and cinnamon sticks into small pieces. The easiest way to break the cinnamon sticks is to place them on a rimmed baking sheet and use a rolling pin.Mix with spices.
Scoop one-quarter of the mix onto center of a four-inch square of double thickness cheesecloth; bring ends up and tie with string. Repeat with remaining mix with three more squares.
*Watch the rind peels carefully. I pulled out my orange peels after only one hour. The lemons (which were a bit thicker) too longer but I pulled them early as well. The ginger took the entire time.
For a fresh version to use right away, use this recipe:
Fresh Mulling Spices
1 slice (1 inch) ginger
1 t. whole cloves
1 t. whole allspice
3 cinnamon sticks, (3 inches) smashed
3 slices (1 inch) orange
3 slices(1 inch) lemonPlace ginger slices and spices in a spice ball and drop into large sauce pan with wine or cider. Float orange and lemon slices. Heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Remove spice ball and serve. Garnish drinks with the citrus spices.
For some reason, I cannot get Cyndi Lauper’s “Feels Like Christmas” out of my head today. Here, I want to share the joy with you as well.
It feels like Christmas
Just like Christmas
It feels like Christmas with you…