Sometime last night (12:30 a.m. to be exact), Winter arrived - and not as quietly as one would think - but with violent thunder, lightning, and a hard pouding rain! The storm woke up both Bill and I - though surprisingly the boys slept through it - and my first thought when I looked at the clock, was: Wow, Winter's really coming in with a bang!
Just a few hours later, though - storm over, sun on the rise - Bill slipped outside and plugged in these lights ... such fun for the boys to see when they first woke up!
And while Bill fired up the suns, I started the Solstice Cider:
This is just a blend of apple cider and cranberry juice, which I brought to a boil on the stove. I placed mulling sachets and cinnamon sticks in our pinecone mugs ...
And five minutes later the cider was ready to sip, so it was time to rustle up some boys! I also toasted some cranberry English muffins and lathered them with Crofter's Blood Orange spread. (This stuff is SO good. If you like marmalade, as I do - but are not fond of the chunky peel, as I'm not - you'll love this spread! I bought my jar at Whole Foods.)
Now our day will be pretty quiet, but I do have a few things planned. This morning we'll set out treats for the birds (our favorite Winter friends) and a bit later on, the boys will make a gingerbread house with Nana. (That's the "surprise" on their Advent scroll today!)
And while the boys are out, I'll do some pre-Christmas cleaning - it will be a nice day to open windows and air things out a bit. After my 4:00 tea break, I'll start supper: a beefy cottage pie. And for dessert, I'll bake a yummy "oats & apples" crisp.
Now, today's weather is not very wintery at all - not for New England anyway. In fact, today will be sunny and rather mild, in the 50s. And while I can appreciate the unseasonable (but comfortable) weather, Crackerjack is just distraught we'll likely not see a white Christmas! Of course I reminded him that before long we'll have more snow than we can shake a fist at - for goodness sakes, remember last year?
So I'm off for now, but I do wish you all a Happy Solstice! And whatever Winter brings to your corner of the world, I hope it's kind to you this year! Which now has me wondering ... what is Winter like where you live?
Have a good day, my friends... see you back here sometime soon!
Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~ Minna Thomas Antrim