Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The English word "carol" once meant, "to sing and dance in a ring." Over the years the word began to be used in association with a holiday tradition known as "wassailing." Wassailing was originally a custom of blessing fruit trees during the Christmas season and the use of the word eventually evolved into defining a toast, a caroling custom, and a drink.

Here we come a-wassailing

Among the leaves so green;

Here we come a-wand'ring

So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you, your wassail too;

And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year.

And God send you a Happy New Year.

~An old English song


Christmas Wassail

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. whole cloves

2 quarts apple cider

1 orange, slices

Place cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice in a double thickness cheescloth; bring up corners and tie with a string to form a bag. Place cider and brown sugar in a slow cooker stirring until sugar dissolves. Add spice bag. Place orange slices on top. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Remove spice bag when ready to serve.

(From The Twelve Blessings of Christmas, T.J. Mills)

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