Tomorrow, we will begin our journey to England for Christmas. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. It’s been 4 years since I went ‘home’ for the holidays and even though I have been on a couple of other occasions since, it just isn’t the same as being with the whole family for this special season. I am marking my anticipation by looking at family photos, thinking about all the friends I hope to see, and of course thinking about all the traditional dishes I can’t wait to eat again.
I haven’t really transplanted many of my English Christmas favoutites since being here except one very important one- Mulled Wine. To me, it just isn’t the holiday season without some mulled wine and one way or another, I have been able to enjoy it almost every year since moving to the States. I used to buy mulling spices and go to all this fuss to try and find a brand I liked and finally realized making my own was super easy, cheap and better than anything store bought. One of the greatest things about this drink is that you can control the alcohol content depending on how long you keep it simmering. We have some friends and family who prefer not to have a lot or any alcohol and they are still able to enjoy this special Christmas beverage.
As a result of our trip, this will be my last post for 2012. I hope you have enjoyed The Grumbling Belly so far and I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful holiday season.
2 (750 ml) bottles of sweet red wine (you can also use Cabernet Savignon or Merlot and just add a little more sugar)
4 sticks of Cinnamon
7 whole cloves
1 large sliced orange
pinch of allspice
pinch of nutmeg
1/8 cup of sugar (or 3-4 tablespoons)
Place everything into a large pan and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes. Run the wine through a strainer and serve warm. Depending on the wine glass size (and how much you fill it!) this will make about 6-8 glasses.