Blog Anniversaries Drinks

mulled cider with homemade spice sachet

another anniversary – for the blog! :::

It’s happened again: another full year of blogging. While I am a person who sticks to things, sees them through, never did I think I could continue to have so many things to talk about (self-interest and need for documenting posterity, to be honest) with my food adventures. Albeit some of my recent posts are more truncated than I would like, my recent nausea and fatigue making cooking and writing a little more of a challenge than usual, I still feel like I’ve accomplished something when I see a new post pop up on my blog. And lucky for me, it will only continue to grow.

I’ll be celebrating with some cozy mulled cider. No need for a nice cake or torte, although I certainly wouldn’t turn one away. Since it’s not clear what one gives a food blog for a second anniversary, a spice sachet seems appropriate. It’s festive. It’s a little sassy. It’s more grown up than just a cupcake on a birthday.

And that is partly what this past blogging year has been, celebrations in small and large scale. We celebrated Peach’s fifth birthday and Grub’s second birthday. I essentially went through a six month-long job interview (working as a coverage physician) and was graced with a wonderful permanent position with a great staff. We are expecting a third baby. My younger brother and his wife had their first child. We have great friends and family. We love where we live. Eat and I agree we are blessed.

Originally, I made this for some postal service friendly Christmas gifts, but I also I think it is a perfect sachet to send along to anyone in cold climates and in need for a celebration with some comforting hot drinks. Whatever you may be celebrating, enjoy. Thank you for visiting the blog. I plan to have another fun year.

Another addition to the posts on this second anniversary is a “recipe recap” from years past.

One year ago: cannellini bean, ricotta, chocolate torte

Two years ago: the very first post! — debutante cake

mulled cider with homemade spice sachet recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: variable
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cinnamon sticks*
  • 2 tablespoons cardamom pods or star anise
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 3 fresh organic lemons (you'll need 2 tablespoons dried lemon peel)
  • 2 fresh organic oranges (you'll need 3 tablespoons dried orange peel) and an extra orange to slice and put in the fresh cider
  • 2 quarts of apple cider (non-alcoholic)
Instructions
  1. First step is to dry the citrus: Peel 2 lemons and 1 orange with a peeler, taking care to try to avoid most of the pith.
  2. Dry at 200 degrees F for 40 minutes.
  3. For the remaining whole, unpeeled 1 lemon and 1 orange, slice thinly into rounds on the equator. The more thinly sliced the fruit is, the more quickly they will dry (though I wouldn't recommend a mandolin to do this, as that thickness is TOO thin).
  4. Heat oven to 170 degrees to 200 degrees F (you can simultaneously dry the slices with the peels above for part of the time) and dry for about 6 to 8 hours. When done, the fruit will be dry and translucent and the rinds leathery and hard. The lemons will not retain a sunny yellow color; they become more brown. The oranges will dry to a brown, orange color. Blood oranges look an ominous black.
  5. For mulled cider, place 2 quarts of cider, 1 orange sliced, and 1 spice sachet into a large pot. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve warm.**
Notes
* Each spice sachet contains these ratios of spices, but the amount of citrus dried for the recipe actually makes extra. I made about 3 spice sachets with the amount of citrus in the recipe (and scaled up the spices), but obviously this may change depending on the size of your oranges and lemons. ** You can replace the apple cider with a bottle of red wine and ½ cup of brown sugar. Make sure to simmer, NOT boil, the wine.

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