Friday, November 27, 2009

5:00 Fridays

Before the din of Christmas falls upon us like the anvil from Road Runner and Wiley Coyote cartoons, I'd like to pay one last homage to fall. I'm feeling a tish lachrymose about bidding adieu to the season that is upstaged by Christmas even before the last leaf has met its acorn match in the mulch.

Fall is my favorite season, with its bounty of gourds and roots that roast into succulence, apples so sweet and fragrant that they leave you wondering what happened to the 5 pound basket you just bought, sweaters and fleece enveloping you on a crisp afternoon watching the kids rake and jump into leaf piles, tall boots that give way to flip flops. Fall brings us Halloween and Thanksgiving, my personal favorite.

As my last toast to fall, I'm conjuring up some spiked cider. I get the natural kind from the farmer's market that is ruddy and more golden brown than yellow. The grocery aisle jug that looks like a day's worth of urine samples is not the way to go here.

Spiked Cider
1 mug of good quality, fresh apple cider
shot of whiskey or bourbon
shot of cinnamon schnapps (optional)
cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour a shot of your favorite whiskey or bourbon into a heat proof mug. Add heated apple cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. For those who are not faint of heart, toss in a shot of cinnamon schnapps. And for the record, Mac Daddy spikes his cider with Maker's Mark.

Now light a fire (whether inside with a remote control as ours works in these uberly modern times, or outside with wood and kindling gathered by neighborhood kids) nestle into a toasty fluffy wrap, shawl, or blanket, sip on a mug or two of this spiked cider, and take time to chat. Turn on some music but turn off your cellular devices. This is a sipping drink that is meant for chatter and conversation.

No one needs to be texting or blipping or tweeting or gaming while they could (should) be relishing each other's company. Christmas will hurl us into a frenzy soon enough. Let's just take one more moment to enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot, the glisten of the night sky, the culinary treats that fuel our souls.

Cheers to Fall, may we not take you for granted, may we revel in your memory when winter bares her frigid snare.
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Jen L. said...

Fresh cider is one of the things I miss most about NY. When I lived upstate, I got it straight from the orchard. In NYC, I got it at the Green Market. You're right about the grocery store stuff--it totally looks like pee! Fortunately, the orchard a few towns over sells their cider roadside each weekend, so I've got a gallon! I usually spike mine with spiced rum, but we'll throw some Maker's Mark in there tonight in honor of you.

Anonymous said...

Just puts me in the mood for a final brisk walk through the woods and some cider. Thanks!

dadshouse said...

It's funny, here in the Bay Area it is finally just starting to feel like fall. All the trees have turned color and leaves are starting to drop. I love this time of year. Hope your Thanksgiving was good!