I disike fruit. What can I say? Somewhere along the line I lost the taste for something I once loved as much as I now love candy bars. I remember when I was a kid, growing up in the country. There was an old man who lived next door, a Mr. Peterson...never forgot his name. He was a mean old man...a hermit. No one ever came to call on him. Once we kids tried being nice, but were told in no uncertain terms that we should get off his property...and stay off.
Now, it just so happened that Mr. Peterson had the one in only Apple Tree in our neighborhood, and I can remember how us kids used to anxiously wait for the sweet, juicy apples to appear once the blossoms disappeared. Nothing tasted better than one of Mr. Peterson's apples picked fresh from the tree. But, of course, meanie that he was, he'd always be on the lookout to toss some stones our way when he saw us coming to take some of his precious fruit...not that he ever did anything with them. I never saw him come out and pick any. He'd just let them fall and rot. But, that was then, and this is now. But, even though I won't sit and munch on a juicy apple today, there are still ways I can enjoy them....One of my favorites is hot the Mulled Cider (reciped shown below) that I serve during the holidays.
8 Cups Apple Cider
1/2 cup Brown sugar
Just a pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of allspice
6 Cinnamon sticks
8 Whole cloves
8 Orange wedges with rind attached
In large saucepan, combine cider, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to boil and add all the rest of the ingredients except for the orange wedges. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Serve cider in mugs with a clove studded orange wedge in each.
The following is fun, but not edible.
Apple Candle Holders
Core apples. Carve whatever symbols you want, then dip into lemon juice. Put a candle in the hole. These will only last for one day. You can also add some cloves if you like.
Oranges are another fruit that my tastebuds seem to have outgrown. There was a time when they were a welcome part of my Christmas stocking...a real treat back in those dys when it was not so easy to get hold of fresh citrus during the dead of the winter months. Candy canes were put aside as I anxiously peeled, usually with a few squirts in the eye, and sank my teeth into the juicy pulp. Oranges are still part of my holiday, but not in the way they once were. Who doesn't love the aroma of a pomander which fills the room with that pleasant throughout the holiday season.
To make the pomander, punch holes in the organce skin and then insert the cloves into the holes. You may choose to completely cover the orange or create designs such as snowflakes , moons, stars, etc. Within a few weeks, the orange will have completely dehydrated as the cloves help to draw the juice from the fruit. And, as the orange dries, you will notice that it turns dark and becomes very light in weight. While the pomander is drying, it will continue to release its spicy fragrance. Turn it every few days so that it dries evenly, and when completely dry, it can be saved for the next year's festivities. Refresh it with a little essential clove oil and store it in a sealed sandwich bag. It should last for years.