TCS: Love and Joy Come to You . . .

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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“Then here’s to the heartening wassail,
Wherever good fellows are found;
Be its master instead of its vassal,
and order the glasses around”

– Ogden Nash

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THE WASSAIL SONG

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen.

Refrain:

Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail, too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year

We are not daily beggars that beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children whom you have seen before.

Refrain

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.

Refrain

We have a little purse made of ratching leather skin;
We want a little sixpence to line it well within.

Refrain

God bless the master of this house, likewise the mistress, too;
And all the little children that round the table go.

Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail, too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year

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You can keep your eggnog and mulled wine – for me, THE drink at this time of year is WASSAIL.

Many years ago, my mother was given a recipe by an English friend of hers, so ever after we mixed up great batches of it for family holiday parties. There are hundreds of variations on what goes in the bowl — I’ve seen some very different recipes made with mead or ale, and roasted crabapples or bread (which sounds very weird to me, but people who would call dessert Spotted Dick are weird.)

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This is the recipe, which has slightly evolved over time, which became ours:

WASSAIL

  • 2 Oranges, studded with Cloves*
  • 2 gallons of Apple Cider
  • 4 cups of Orange Juice
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of Pineapple Juice
  • 8 tablespoons of Lemon Juice (or a little more, if you like it tart)
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Brandy to taste — Optional — Wassail is also delicious without any alcohol for those who don’t imbibe.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

* Studding an Orange with Cloves: I use one of those little skewers for sewing up a turkey to poke a perfect-sized hole in the orange – it’s easier to insert the clove into the pre-made hole, and you’re less likely to break the head. A very large sewing needle will also work.

Remove the green stem end from the orange, and work in a spiral pattern from that end all the way to the other end. Some people cover the entire surface with cloves, but I think it makes the clove taste too overpowering, and it takes forever – so I just stick in a clove about every ½ inch or so.

Put the oranges on a piece of foil on the middle rack of the oven, and heat for 20 to 25 minutes at 325 – the smell is wonderful!

While the oranges are baking, mix all the juices in your pot(s), add the Cinnamon Sticks, and when ready, the Oranges with Cloves, heat slowly until steaming — DO NOT BOIL.  Note: You won’t get the true flavor until it’s heated through.

We use a crock pot and a heavy stock pot and make two batches at a time – the crock pot is easier to keep it from getting too hot – you want it steaming but NOT BOILING – boiling makes it bitter. It can be poured through a funnel into the emptied cider bottles and kept in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days (remove the oranges and cinnamon sticks first) — reheat before serving.

Just before serving, add Brandy — be sure to stir, or the alcohol will sit on top!

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In the original recipe given to my mother, it specified “Apple Jack Brandy,” which was impossible to find in Arizona, and I’ve only seen it here occasionally in fancy spirits shops, but if you run across some, it is more authentic, and even better than regular brandy.

When we have done this for parties, we had two punch bowls on a heating tray – one with, and one without, alcohol.

If you have a cold or a sore throat, sipping hot Wassail will make you feel a lot better.

And the aroma wafting through the house is glorious!

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Love and joy come to you,
and to you your wassail, too.

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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3 Responses to TCS: Love and Joy Come to You . . .

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    Wassel sounds great! I think though that I would substitute a good Bourbon for the Brandy…

  2. Socks says she wants to try making it, that it looks good. I assume for Christmas or New Year.

    As for me, I plan to reprise the RCAF Moose Milk recipe in a few days.

  3. Terry Welshans says:

    I look forward to a sample after New Year’s Day.

    Moose Milk, on the other hand…

Comments are closed.