Friday, August 28, 2009

Preparations for the harvest

Winter is a dreamy time of long nights, warm pajamas, coats, Christmas lights, and merriment during the cold and gloom. It is all too easy to have this dreamy time become a dreary time of grey days, freezing nights, aweful driving, and the feeling of being a shut in. In order to avoid that situation, I have a few recipes that might help you during those long winter nights to come. The autumn harvest might be a good time to experiment and dig in.

First is the classic Irish jug of punch. I have tried this, but only with room temperature water; not yet have I tried hot water. Never the less it is a favorite of mine and it was a traditional way of drinking whiskey in Ireland. I would be disappointed if they've stopped drinking punch in Ireland. I digress, experiment with brands to find the flavor that suits you best.

In a glass jug mix:
Some Irish whiskey
Hot water
A pinch of sugar
A dash of cloves
Zest of lemon

If you are needing some caffiene, Irish coffee is loved the world over. If you are like me and dislike coffee, here is a new twist: whiskey and tea

As I said before, pilsner and hot pretzels is another treat. I try to avoid iced drinks in the winter and have hot drinks instead. Hot pretzels and cold beer is a fair compromise.

If you must drink something chilly, I do miss Tetleys beer. It is a thick beer, similar to a Guinness but not as dark. In fact I am tempted to pick up some this weekend if the weather continues to sour. It warms the soul! Make sure you have a big glass; they only come in talls.

In mid autumn, nothing beats a trip to the cider mill. And one sure way to work the chill of an autumn afternoon from your bones is to heat a saucepan of fresh apple cider and add some pumpkin pie spices and some brandy. I prefer an unobtrusive, unassuming brandy. My brandy odyssey was so long ago I cannot recall what brand I preferred. Probably some California distiller around the Korbel mark. Let me know what you find. I must confess the brandy selection in this town is not robust.

Finally, a regional favorite here is to add Tom and Jerry's mix to some hot water and brandy. I am not sure what is in T and J mix; it is frozen but I believe it is egg yolks and sugar. Who knows? Some spice it with nutmeg or cinammon. Pretty simple if you just want to dash together a hot mug.

But most importantly people, sleep warm.

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