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
- 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)
- 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.
- Dry at 200 degrees F for 40 minutes.
- 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).
- 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.
- For mulled cider, place 2 quarts of cider, 1 orange sliced, and 1 spice sachet into a large pot. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve warm.**