As I mentioned just earlier to some of my buds, I’ve been busier than Hammy (the squirrel from Over the Hedge) on an energy drink. This may or may not have something to do with a lot of homemade sweet gift drinks being taste tested.
In fact this is about the only Christmas activity going on at my house right now, this making of homemade Christmas gifts, beyond my husband and I sort of eyeballing each other and asking when the other person is going to go get a tree. It’s probably safe to say that I’ve given more pondering time to wondering why people will flake out and make a company’s stock drop about $6 a share simply over a report that they were a little short of their original profit estimates, even though they still made well over a billion dollars profit in the quarter.
I don’t always “get” people, but they do often provide good investment opportunities for others when they behave this way. Too bad I don’t have more cash sitting around.
So yeah… Christmas stuff. I feel like I’m being a bit of a lamer. No decor going on here. I also got snarly over having to listen to Frosty the Snowman in the grocery store. I think the problem is I have yet to go to any Christmas parties, which tend to put me more in the mood. They’d best hurry up, because I do have a pile of cardboard tubing from toilet and paper towel rolls going on for crafty ornament type things that have yet to be made… and this is starting to sound like a potential blog post to me.
I am going to be giving out homemade drink assortments to my friends and family, since we seem to have reached the stage in our lives where the only thing you really want for Christmas is a vacation somewhere where it doesn’t snow. Or a new dishwasher, even though that’s not nearly as fun.
But, I have been putting one of my past Christmas gifts to good use! I was given a dehydrator once a year or two ago by some friends of ours, and I spent a goodly amount of time dehydrating all the things. Besides lots of apple and banana chips (which are awesome and way better when dehydrated by you), one of the things I played with was dehydrating citrus.
The good news was, citrus dehydrates awesome. The bad news is that I haven’t found a huge number of things to use dehydrated citrus for. So this seemed a good way to use most of it up. It gives that nice delicate hint of orange to the cider (or apple juice; I often mull just apple juice). It also makes the mulling mix incredibly pretty looking, in my opinion.
If you don’t have a dehydrator or any access to dehydrated orange, of course, it makes lovely mulling mix anyway without the dried orange. You can also suggest in the instructions that they add a couple of slices of fresh orange or lemon when they make the mulled cider.
And if you’re looking at making gifts for teacher, this project is a great one to put small kids on. Have them wash their hands and count out the right number of each whole spice before they put it in the jar.
- 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice
- 2 slices of dehydrated orange (optional)
- Combine the ingredients and store dry until ready to make.
- Add the mulling mix to a medium-large saucepan with 4 cups of apple juice or cider.
- Add 1-2 slices of fresh orange or lemon if dehydrated orange isn't included in the mix.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Break the cinnamon sticks away from the jars to avoid sharp, small fragments of bark in the cider itself.