Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Wassail was traditionally a hot drink made of ale, sherry, sugar, and spices, with pieces of toast and roasted apples floating in it. It is the legendary drink served on the Feast of the Three Kings with an oversized, decorated sweet yeast bread. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon toast waes haeil, or “be whole.” On Christmas or Twelfth Night, revelers would carry a large bowl from door to door, asking for it to be filled, a custom known as wassailing. There are now many versions of wassail, and the palate for hot strong beer is limited, so it has evolved into a spiked juice toddy. The antique French Api apple was probably the apple of choice of the day. It is now called a Lady apple; look for it at Christmas, but any apple will do.


2 quarts unfiltered apple juice or apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

27 whole cloves

15 allspice berries

4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks

5 small firm cooking apples of your choice

1/2 cup water

1 medium orange

2 cups Calvados

Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice, and brown sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Place 12 of the cloves, the allspice berries, and the cinnamon sticks in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to make a bag. Add to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Stud each apple with 3 of the remaining cloves and place in an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Add the water and bake until the apples are just a bit tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

After the juices have stewed for 4 to 5 hours, add the apples to the slow cooker. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel in wide strips, making sure to avoid the white pith, and add the peels to the slow cooker.

Remove the spice bag and stir in the Calvados. Serve hot (leave the slow cooker on to keep the cocktail warm).

Cranberry Soup

Cranberry Soup

1 cup cranberries
2 cups water
Honey to taste
1 tbsp potato starch

Heat cranberries and water together until cranberry skins open. Strain and add honey to taste. Bring mixture close to a boil, then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix starch with 2 tbsp cold water. Slowly add this mixture to the cranberry juice – stir vigorously.

Return mixture to heat and bring to full boil, stirring until it thickens
and becomes slightly transparent. Store in refrigerator in a covered
container. Serve w/ warm cream. Soothes colds, and is a good source of
vitamins C and B.

Kitchen Cures

Kitchen Cures

By Carole Pagan

Whenever I have any sort of ache, pain, illness, or other ailment – I look to see if I can fix the problem with something in my kitchen.

Why would I do that?

For a lot of reasons really.

* I hate making an extra trip to the store.

* Drugs are expensive. Even the over the counter stuff. We get sick so rarely, I hate buying stuff that’s just going to sit in the cabinet.

* Drugs are chemicals, and many times have a side effect that you don’t want.

You have to eat anyway – why not eat foods that will help solve your problem?

Say you’re coming down with a cold – you’ll want to eat more fruit, drink orange juice, eat salad and chicken soup, drink green tea, take an extra vitamin C, and get a good nights sleep, right?

What’s the first thing you do when you feel like you’re getting a kidney infection? Drink cranberry juice, right?

How about when you have diarrhea? You eat bananas, right?

If you have a headache, the first question you ask yourself is “When did I eat last?” (Actually you should try a glass of water first. You might just be dehydrated.)

We do this stuff all the time, don’t we? But did you know that you can solve most of your health problems with food?

I woke up this morning feeling like I have a bit of tendinitis. I know that’s an inflammation, so I go and look up foods to eat to help prevent disease.

“Foods that act as an anti-inflammatory

Apples, blueberries, cloves, cranberries, curry, ginger, honey, lemon, mustard, onion, pineapple, raspberries, turmeric, black tea, green tea, red wine.”

Aspirin is also an anti-inflammatory, as well as a pain reliever – so if it gets worse I will take a couple aspirins. I also know that I want to stay away from foods that can actually cause inflammation like milk and whole wheat.

You can eat foods to help your asthma, arthritis, blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases and ailments. Now, I’m not saying to quit taking your medications. I am saying that when you eat the right foods, in time your doctor may be able to decrease your prescriptions. The worst that can happen is you’ll just feel better. The best that can happen? You’ll not only feel great, but you’ll save thousands of dollars too.

Hot Cranberry Wassail

Hot Cranberry Wassail
­ 2 1/2 qts. cranberry juice
1 qt. grape juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup orange liqueur
orange slices

Heat juices, water and sugar to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in rum and liqueur and garnish with oranges. Serve hot to keep friends and relatives warm this holiday!

Immortality Potion

Immortality Potion

2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup cranberry juice
3 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 orange slices, peeled
3 whole cloves
Put the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick in a crockpot or similar pot. Push the cloves into the orange slices, one clover per slice, and put the slices into the mixture. Warm the potions in the crockpot. Pour into a mug. As you are sipping the brew, imagine yourself living a long and healthy life. Move your mind into the future and see the images of you growing old. Then move that energy into the potion using your will, focused breathing and the heat of your hands as you hold the mug.

Makes two servings.