There's some interesting fungii in the garden at the moment...
and lots of lambs are being born out on the farm..
The winter so far has been fairly mild, there have been few frosts and not too much rain: this time last year the flats were flooded. The conditions are ideal for the ewes and lambs and there is plenty of feed. I say mild, but it is still winter and there are times when a fortifying hot drink is called for.
There is a teacher at our local school who makes his own cider. At an old farmhouse on our property there is a cider orchard and he comes every year to collect some of the fallen fruit to add to his brew. Here are a couple of bottles from last year's crop:
It is very dry, not at all like the commercially produced "dry" ciders and I thought it would lend itself to a bit of spicing up. If you are using a commercial cider, it is probably not necessary to add sugar, up to you, and just add spices to your liking. This would be great to take out on a winter's picnic.
I tipped a bottle into a saucepan and added:
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cinnamon quill
a few gratings of nutmeg
2 star anise
2 strips of orange zest
the juice of half the orange (you can add the rest if you fancy)
Boil for about 5 minutes then take off the heat and leave for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Strain and reheat gently then pour into glasses.
Hot spiced cider, by the fire, good book....what more could you ask for?