a traditional wassail recipe…for the brave!

in my last post on the winter solstice, i mentioned a traditional drink called wassail that was passed out to peasants and serfs, and more modernly to carolers, around yule or christmas.   although the combination of ingredients is nothing shocking to a brit, we americans might be a bit taken aback by the idea of combining things like eggs, beer, and fortified wine.  those of you who are brave and who like to try new things might be interested in trying this recipe by one of my favorite cooks in the whole wide world, alton brown.  if the reviews on his website are any indication, you’ll either love this like a fat lady loves cake or you’ll hate it with a purple passion—but you never know ’til you try!! Read the rest of this entry »


the wheel of the year, part 3: yule

hey you!  yeah,  you—the one with the arms full of bags, nerves frazzled from fighting with that crazed woman over the last ginormous bargain-basement flatscreen, and credit card maxed (again) in an effort to maintain the material status quo—yeah, you.  why don’t you slow down, chuck the jeans in favor of some pjs, pour yourself a hot cup of tea (or a hot toddy!), wrap up in a big fuzzy blanket, and relaaaaax.  take some quiet time to remember what this week in december means to you—what it really means to you.   no matter our religious beliefs, most of us rarely slow down long enough to really meditate on the depth of significance of the holiday season.  the church of consumerism doesn’t afford us that luxury.  from the time the shot sounds on the day after halloween (didn’t it used to be the day after thanksgiving??) until the last unwanted or ill-fitting gift is returned, our minds are abuzz with lists, budgets, wrapping paper, sales, and new and unusual ways to torture underpaid and under-appreciated retail sales staff. Read the rest of this entry »