Spider web hanging in the Hemlock tree

We’re only a couple days away from Solstice now. We’ve hung the trees outside with peanut nut, popcorn and cranberry garlands. We are so looking forward to celebrating the shortest day of the year with a bonfire and hot chocolate made with coconut milk and bernard callebaut chocolate shavings. We’ll top the hot chocolates with home made marshmallows. We’ll be reminiscing about the past year and making wish bread and apple cider while talking about our hopes and dreams for the year to come. I’ll blog about it all the day after Solstice, Friday December 23rd.

Bald eagle with it's salmon supper

Apple cider was just what I needed the other day when I was feeling so down. It warmed my heart the whole time it was fragrantly simmering. It immediately reminded me of apple pie and drinking it from cups made from the apples was playful and fun. I’d actually planned to make this for Solstice but decided to test drive the recipe first. I know I’ll be making this cider again and again. Here’s what I did:

Apple Cider

Apple Cider

  • 12 Apples (Red Delicious or Granny Smith or…)
  • 1 Orange, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Demerara Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks (more for garnishing)
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp Cloves
  • Water
  1. Wash and dry the apples. Thoroughly dry the apples so they don’t slip out of your hand while carving out the middle! Using a sharp knife, carefully trace a circle around the edge of the apple and use a spoon to scoop out the insides.
  2. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the apples to prevent browning and set aside. We put ours in the fridge until the cider was ready.
  3. Bring the apple pulp, water, orange quarters, demerara sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves to a boil.
  4. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Using a potato masher, mash the apples and oranges until soft.
  6. Allow the cider to come to room temperature before straining and serving. Taste and adjust with a bit more water if need be.

Making Apple CiderApple Cider

LOVING the apple cider

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3 Responses to Apple Cider

  1. debra says:

    these are so sweet, served in the apples!! what i really want, though, is a tour around your solstice calendar…i’ve thought about it a lot this year, and want to make one for us…maybe if i do a few animals a month it would be ready?!?!?!

  2. elementsofmylife says:

    Thanks for sharing this one Annie. I didn’t have to worry about helping decorate the tree after all. My mom found a pine tree and was worried about me getting pitch on one of my wool shirts. Wool was all had packed so we had a good laugh!

    Now it’s the battle of who gets in the kitchen… we have coffee addicts and lots of bakers. So far gingerbread cookies and bagels are the winning options.

  3. Annie says:

    Debra- I took a photo of the whole calendar as you’ve seen now. I did an embroidered piece every day for the month of December the year I made it. I made the piece I needed just a day before it was to be put on the calendar. I was busy busy busy. So when I think of having a whole month for one I think- easy peasy!

    L- Enjoy it! I’m so hopeful that it will be a good time!

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