Was Thanksgiving not wonderful?  We just got back from the best long weekend with friends.  My kids were all in tears as we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge headed for home.   They loved being with their San Francisco "cousins".  For days there were six children snuggled on a huge leather couch watching all sorts of movies and loving being together.   We went for walks, and out to dinner.   We stayed up way to late every night talking and talking and laughing and laughing.  We ate leftovers to our hearts content.  The kids thought it was amazing that there were 10 people for dinner, but we had 7 pies.  Almost a whole pie per person.  It doesn't get any better than that.  Our holiday was small and intimate and absolutely delicious.  We learned some new fun traditions that I don't think we can stray from.  Our friends have a tradition of frying up sausages to eat along side the turkey.   Who doesn't love a good wienie.  For breakfast or anytime for that matter.  Seth was in heaven.  And a wonderful corn casserole will now grace my Thanksgiving table every year.

One of the special touches of the weekend was a big steaming pot of Wassail set out for anyone who needed a bit of holiday cheer.  Nothing says "Holidays!" quite like Wassail.  Warm apple and spices being sipped out of lovely little mugs, with Nat King Cole being played in the background.  Yum!  As a kid my mom would make Wassail a lot.  Every Christmas, but she would also make huge jugs full to take up skiing every Sat. morning to Snow Basin.  We would ski all morning and then head down to the car for hoagie sandwiches or Spam sandwiches, and steamy cups of "Grog" as my dad would call it.  We would all act like we were a bunch of drunk pirates drinking our Grog.  Fun as heck!

So as the holidays have started, Cheers to all, and enjoy your cup of Wassail too!  Here's to a great start to the most wonderful time of the year!

Christmas Wassail

10 whole cloves
11 whole allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
1 quart water
1 c. sugar

Bring all these ingredients together and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

Now add:
2 quarts apple juice  (or 1 qt. apple juice and 1 qt. cranberry juice is real good!)
1 6 oz. can of lemonade concentrate
1 12 oz. can of orange juice concentrate

Stir together and heat through.  Enjoy!  I leave the spices in the mix, but you can strain them out if you don't want to dodge them while you're drinking.

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