Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Past (A late post) and Cider

So Christmas is officially over (and probably forgotten) in most households. I've been bowled over by snow, family obligations and out-of-town travel, so I'm finally getting to the first of a few Christmas posts, you'll have to bear with me.

First of all, the Tofu Family decorates their tree:
We waited until a few days before Christmas to put it up, because all my girls wanted to be there to help. And it just wouldn't seem right if they weren't.

Our tree isn't fancy, nothing matches, it's a hodge-podge of ornaments collected and made over the years. But it's always special to us, and each of the girls has their favorite.

My oldest 'Sprout' loves this little wooden Santa that a friend STOLE off his Mom's tree many years ago to impress her - when they were about 5 or 6. When his Mom found out, she only laughed and said we could keep the ornament. We still tease her about it, but she doesn't seem to mind much!

My middle daughter is attached to, of all things, a LOBSTER CAGE ornament that we picked up for her in Maine one year.
The story behind this: She used to love the (poor) lobsters in the tank at our local supermarket and thought they were there as pets. She would talk to them and named them all and told them stories. I waited a few years to tell her their real fate. Thus starting her on a path of animal activism that is still going strong.

My kids bought ME my own special ornament this year. A Starbucks cup. How appropriate!!

My youngest has always put the angel on the top of the tree. Sometimes this undertaking is more dangerous than others, depending on how hard we're all laughing...

And last of all. Homemade Spiced Cider is our "tree-decorating" beverage of choice.

Once you've tried this, you'll never use those nasty little paper packets of chemicals again. It simmers nicely in a crock pot all day, waiting for whatever evening event you have planned. Adjust the spices to your tastes. I like a lot of ginger so that's the way we've always made it...


6 cups of apple cider (we use unfiltered)
6 whole cloves
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
2 tangerines, sliced
3 slices of lemon
2-inch piece of peeled, fresh ginger, cut into 10 slices
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over a low flame for 20 minutes.
If simmered in a crockpot, you may have to add some cider near the end, as it may evaporate a cup or so away.
Strain and serve.
(Also good with a little Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, if you're into that. Not for the kids of course!)


VeggieGirl said...

Lovely Christmas you had!! And thank you for the WONDERFUL cider recipe - yum!!

Vegetation said...

I think your tree is lovely! We discovered this year that all the round christmas baubles were past their prime (meaning they no longer contained the parts that enable them to hang :P). We fully planned to replace them, however, like your tree, we had so many ornaments made by the kids all over the tree it really didn't leave any room for anything else (long story short, they're the best kinds of trees ;))

Jen said...

what a great cider recipe!

Chelsea said...

Your family is so cute! And the cider sounds awesome; I never thought to do it in the crock pot for some reason. Duh!

nookle said...

Ok - the ornament that your oldest sprout chose - I have the same one! It was on my parents' tree when they were first together, and I still have it.

- also, we always did, and still do, have trees like that. Far preferable, in my opinion, to the trees with matching, pointless glass balls. :)