Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mulling Spices...for Wassail


I didn't explain the mulling spices too well ....When my mom used to make this we just threw in some whole cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and orange peel to add flavor to the simmering juices. Now you can buy mulling spices at Safeway or a kit with the "mulling ball"(kind of like a large tea ball...if you drank tea) at Williams & Sonoma or other nice cooking store. I got mine there a few years ago for about $10.
Here's a recipe for making your own mulling spices....which I have never done (and probably never will!)...but if you are so inclined...it might make a cute gift...often these spices were wrapped in small squares of cheesecloth or muslin and tied with thread.

***Note: these spices are also great to put in a "simmering pot" (small crock pot) to make the house smell yummy during the holidays.

Homemade Mulling Spice Packets

25 cinnamon sticks, each 2 inches long (about 3 oz.)
6 whole nutmegs (1 oz.)
1/3 C each: chopped dried orange and lemon peel
1/4 C each: whole allspice and whole cloves
2 T finely chopped, crystalized ginger (optional)

You have to whack this stuff to bits (mortar and pestle, rolling pin and plastic bag, heavy duty blender?) then put in a glass jar where it will keep for a year or two....see why I'll probably never get into making my own? Really....some cinnamon sticks and a few whole cloves work just fine.

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