According to Epicurious, Wisconsin still has a “wassailing of apple trees,” which is when they would go outside…in December…when it is just warmer than Antarctica…and sprinkle Wassail onto their apple trees to give them a long, bountiful harvest in the next year. I can’t even go out to my car to get a book I left in there when it gets colder than 50F. These guys are serious business.
Probably sitting down.
Alton is going to make you bake your apples, not boil them. You are going to add brown sugar into the apples while they’re baking. He insists you use cheesecloth for the spices. You are not allowed to boil anything, actually. But you will need a hand mixer, a slow cooker, a dutch oven pan, a whisk, a spatula, a ladle…and you better get some good friends over there to help you appreciate this drink, because gosh darnit, it was a lot of work! But so worth it.
Traditions are so precious for our homes during the Christmas season.
They remind us of how our grandparents served green bean casserole, and guide us in how we light candles for those who came before us.
When families bring the traditions of their parents into their homes, they are not concerned about worshiping the past, but rather see the preservation of the future.
I love listening to the endless varieties of traditions which make up American culture.
From the celebration of Advent, to bringing in mistletoe and the endless array of feasting each family brings from their heritage.
I have many friends from many different countries, and I have noticed that we all do one thing similarly:
No, not the tree!
There is one drink we all have, and yet it is called by different names.
For some it is Russian Tea, but for most of us it is called Wassail.
Yet, Wassail is made differently in every house, despite the common name!
So, what is it?? Where did it come from?? Why do we all know the smell of Wassail in the kitchen, but we don’t know who came up with this idea? Is it a new idea, or has this been around for ages??
This is very different from the spiced apple cider tea I would ladle out of my mother’s crock pot!
The tradition I know is sitting in someone’s front room with a mug of Wassail and waiting until it wasn’t lava-hot so you could finally drink it. This is a far cry from the original tradition of wandering the streets with a bucket of Wassail and singing on doorsteps!
With this in mind, how else can we incorporate the different Wassail tradition into our homes this holiday season?