Who says you have to have tea at a tea party? Well, it's autumn, and apple cider is showing up at the food markets, and I want mulled cider and hot chocolate! I have a really fabulous fall tea from The Metropolitan Tea Company that I used at a tea party last fall, but I decided to save that for another day. I also usually go way over the top with food, so this time I thought we could just decorate cookies and call that good.
Mostly it was about the mulled cider, though. You can make mulled cider from regular apple juice, but it's much better with cider. Cider is the unpasteurized, unfiltered version of apple juice. It's thicker, has a cloudy coloring, and has a more full bodied flavor than apple juice which tastes flat in comparison. I don't have an exact recipe for the mulling spices, I just let the cider mull until it tastes right. The ingredients are brown sugar, orange juice, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. I've found that usually cider is only mulled with the spices, but the brown sugar gives it some needed sweetness, and a hint of seasonally appropriate molasses. The orange juice is the surprising ingredient. But the tart from the apple and the tart from a bit of orange really compliment each other. It's perfect. Even just the smell makes me happy. Mulled cider makes me want to put on a big comfy sweater and read a good book. (Although, honestly, lots of things make me want to put on a sweater and read a book, but that's beside the point!)
My avant-garde Andy Warhol pumpkin.
Annie's abstract expressionist spider and spiderweb.
17 hours ago