We here at the Children’s Garden and Exploring Toronto Programs just want to wish everyone Happy Holidays! We hope you have the opportunity to share a great (local, organic 😉 ) meal and a great time with family and friends and we wish you all the best in the new year!
There’s some tasty local, organic cider still available at your local farmer’s market these days and what better time for a nice warm treat? It’s a pretty simple process to mull cider. The basic version is your apple/cinnamon combo!
Mulled Apple Cider:
1-2 L Local Apple Cider
1-2 cinnamon sticks (2 to 3 tsp, or to taste, of cinnamon powder can be used to speed up the mulling process but the sticks are more fun!)
Pour cider into a medium size pot and add cinnamon. Turn burner on medium-low and allow to simmer (not boil!) for at least 30 minutes with cinnamon sticks, 10 to 15 minutes with cinnamon powder. You can heat for longer if you’d like a stronger flavour.
Now for mixing things up a little! You can also find local pear cider at your farmer’s market at this time of the year. It mixes well with apple cider or is amazingly sweet as a stand alone drink. Adding some dried fruit like cranberries can also add a little extra zing 🙂
Here are a few other ideas for spicing up your hot cider drinks:
Mulled Apple Cider with Orange and Ginger – this one calls for unpasteurized cider but pasteurized will work too.
Apple and Sour Cherry Cider:
1 L of Apple and Sour Cherry Cider (often available at Sorauren Farmer’s Market, a few blocks east of High Park)
1 star anise pod
5 cm (2″) piece of cinnamon bark/stick
Pour into small pot, add star anise and cinnamon bark and simmer on medium low for 20 – 30 minutes.
Other spices you can use to mull cider include cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Using whole spices, not ground, makes it easier to control how strong the flavour is.
Hopefully this will inspire everyone to drink something warm and local this holiday season! Get creative and enjoy!
Speaking of creative … Anybody want to hazard a guess as to how long it’ll take the local Squirrels to find the new free buffet?
And before I managed to finish the post … we have our first customer … however … no snacking! It’s possible, after sniffing about for a bit, that he felt it was too much trouble to get down to the feeders. After all we’re just up the street from the easily accessed posts where many park visitors put out food for the squirrels and birds on a daily basis. Why put in the effort when you don’t have too?