When I was invited to a gift exchange for this weekend, the instructions were simple: bring ten identical gifts. Spend no more than $5 per gift. Hmmm...
I considered making earrings, but knew that I couldn't really do a good job with that budget. So, I starting thinking about food items. I emailed the hostess because I wasn't sure that a consumable would be appropriate. She assured me that it was fine...and told me she planned on gifting small wheels of cheese. Yep, I am definitely going to the right party!
So, I decided to hand-blend mulling spices and place them in little jars along with a muslin bag for steeping. Since sipping mulled wine in front of the fire while reading a book is one of my favorite winter pastimes, I am also bringing along a basket of gently-used books from which the gals can choose.
One thing I love about this is that it's flexible. I don't measure. I just blend by scent and by appearance, asking myself: What will look good in the jar? Does that smell good?
So, this is more to inspire than to provide an actual recipe.
- cinnamon sticks
- star anise
- whole allspice berries
- dried ginger
- rainbow peppercorns
- green cardamom pods
- white cardamom pods
- whole cloves
- ground black lime
- dried orange peel
- dried lemon peel
- Also needed: small jars and muslin bags
Blend all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, breaking up the cinnamon sticks into small pieces.
Include instructions - Place 1 bottle of red wine, 2 T honey or organic granulated sugar, 1 T spice blend (in muslin bag), zest and juice of 1 organic orange into a large saucepan. Warm till wine begins to steam but don't let it simmer or boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 or 15 minutes. Rewarm before serving. Cheers!