Friday, December 9, 2016

Hand-Blended Mulling Spices


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.

Ingredients
  • 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


Procedure
Blend all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, breaking up the cinnamon sticks into small pieces.


Scoop the spice blend into jars.

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!

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