Sunday, December 28, 2008

O'Hare of the Dog

Dear Mouse, 

Can you believe it was last year this time we started to write A Mouse Bouche? Happy New Years' Eve Eve.

I am reflecting on A Year in Food Bloggery. I've noticed  - maybe you have too?  - that since I"ve dedicated so much time to finding nuggets of culinary interest, some seem to leap out at me when I'm not looking at all. 

As you know, this year being Home for the Holidays was made all the sweeter for me by the fact that I almost didn't make it.  Say it with me now: always fly direct. What would have been a simple, 4-hour flight from Kansas City to NJ became a harrowing journey through the bowels of Traveler's Hell, or, as some know it, Chicago's O'Hare Airport.  My boring half-hour layover became a spine-tingling seven-hour delay, followed by an exciting hour of suspense on board the aircraft, followed by a hilarious cancellation announcement.  

Luckily, at this point,  the Holiday Gods smiled upon me. My dear friend On a White Horse and her partner In Shining Armor (I'm totally using their real names), happened to be in Chicago. They picked me and my instruments up (my clothes were, of course, snug in NJ at this point) and whisked me off to a place with a bed, somewhere, I think it might have been a house, whatever, it was great.

And it is at this point, mad with fatigue and confusion, wedged between a guitar and a stroller, chatting with two (I thought) decidedly non-foodie friends, that I find out that Shining Armor... makes Glogg every year for the holidays. 

As in, the Swedish version of hot mulled wine.  As in, homemade. As in, there is supposed to be an umlaut over the "o" but I can't figure out how to do it. As in,  there are several bottles at her place right now and would I like some?

This, by the way, was completely unsolicited information. What is it with me and the Nordic Peoples this winter??

I am ashamed to say I fell asleep before I could taste it. But she very generously yielded her recipe!!! I think it's an appropriate little New Year's gift to you and all our readers. Happy 2009 everyone!!!

The Boo

Glogg by Shining Armor 

1 bottle red wine
1 pint of brandy (i use merlot and cheap brandy. also you can throw in .5 liter of port if you like a sweeter sip)
10 cardamom pods (crushed), or 1 tsp of crushed powder
2 cinnamon stick (broken down or whole)
orange peel (1 whole orange - i prefer fresh rinds to dried)
1/2 lb of sugar (i like to use brown but either works)
5 cloves (optional),
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds
2 tsp ginger (optional)

put wine and spices into stainless steel or porcelain kettle (other kinds react badly with wine). 
Cover and simmer low. LOW.

Put the sugar in a pan and soak it with half the brandy. medium-low heat and stir until it becomes a clear, golden syrup and sugar has dissolved. simmer for about 15 minutes until the little tiny bubbles become larger burbles. add sugar to wine and cover for about an hour.

taste it along the way for desired blend. add more brandy (which is what i like to do) or port or sugar, etc...

strain spices with a thin cloth....with every cup serve it with new blanched almonds and golden raisins.

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