Friday, December 12, 2008

In the Kitchen with Esperanza

There used to be Christmas parties in this house - back when Miss Abigail's mother was alive. So I have been told, anyway. I wasn't even born when Miss Abigail's mother died. Miss Abigail herself was just a child.

But sometimes when Miss Abigail allows the past to speak to her, she will tell me how it was in this house when her mother walked the rooms.

And at Christmastime, there were parties. There was music and dancing and games and food. Of course food.

Abigail especially liked the spiced cider her mother had simmering on the stove for hours until the guests arrived. She didn't let my mother make it for her, even though my mother was a better cook than even I am. She liked to get it going. On cold nights, her parents added a little rum to the little glass cups before the cider was poured into them.

Here is how she made it.
  • One gallon of apple cider
  • 5 or 6 whole cinnamon sticks
  • a small handful (a dozen maybe) whole cloves
  • half an orange sliced in circles
  • half an orange sliced in circles
Simmer at a very low heat on the back of the stove for several hours before your guests arrive. The aroma will beckon them inside. It smells heavenly.

Next time I will tell how to make the best Mexican wedding cookies. The best.

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