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Mulling Spices

There  is nothing like the smell of mulling spices in a pot with simmering apple



cider.  I love to sip cider when curled up with a good book, most often a



gardening book.  I have already started planning my garden for next year



while everything is still fresh in my mind.

Remember that the ingredients are mere suggestions, not carved in stone.

It's OK to just have a hint of spice if that's what you like.  My personal favorite is



allspice, cinnamon, and orange peel.  It's all a matter of personal taste.  












































Mulling spices have been around a very long time.   I read that it dates



back to the Greeks and Romans, flavoring leftover wine.



One of my favorite treasures is a hand-written book containing recipes



from a household in 1820.  One of the first recipes in it was for mulling



spices.  There were lots of additions and substitutions, so I'm guessing



that some of the spices were not always available or accessible.




I like using the little muslin bags instead of cheesecloth squares for containing



the spices.  But regardless, either will need to be washed and dried before use. 

I have simple instructions on how to do this.


You will need 6 to 8 small muslin bags, washed and dried.  Check here for more

information on how to clean and order the muslin bags.

LLAC Ingredient Tips 

Whenever I am doing recipes like mulling spices, I always make sure to use the



freshest spices available.   I compare it to using stale coffee instead of fresh.  It

really does make a difference in the flavor.

• Cinnamon Sticks-True cinnamon should be more of a tannish-brown in color,



   not the reddish-brown hue of cassia. The smell should not be overly strong,



   just delicate and sweet which gives it a subtle flavor that will compliment the



   rest of the ingredients. 

•  Nutmeg-Numeg is a seed and adds a warm nutty flavor to to mulling spices.

   The inside of nutmeg is called mace, another spice fragrant spice.  I like to use

   mace in pound cakes.

•   Allspice-The flavor of the dried unripe berries is like a combination of                     


    cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It's used a lot in baking.

•  Cardamom Pods-This spice belongs to the same family of ginger and



   tumeric.  It's a very old spice that known to have been cultivated for over 4000



   years.  It has a spicy and sweet taste.  I use it sparingly.

•  Cloves-It has fruity, minty and woody characteristics.  It's one of my favorite



   spices and brings back many good memories of the holidays.  My mother and



   I would make pomander balls and stack them in bowls around the house.



   Pomander balls are simply oranges that have been studded with cloves. 



   They are very fragrant and wonderful!

•  Dried Orange Peel-You can buy it or make it.  After peeling an orange, I set



   the peel aside to dry and when I get enough, I process them until they are the



   size of peas.  I have used oranges and tangerines, it doesn't matter as long as



   the skins were clean before drying.  Lemons are good too.

Mulling Spices


•  2 cinnamon sticks

•  Nutmeg, 2 whole

•  ¼ cup of each of the following:


   Cardamom pods


   Dried prange peel



1.  In a large zip top bag, place all the spices except for the orange peel.

2.  Crush spices with a rolling pin; I use my meat hammer to whack the



     cinnamon and nutmeg.  Do NOT crush it too fine, you want to just



     break them up to release the flavors and aromatics.

3.  Add the orange peel to the mixture, press out the air and store until




Alternate Spices

•  Black peppercorns



•  Star anise (1 per muslin bag)



•  Dried Ginger (I found freeze dried)



•  I usually do no more than 5 to 6 kinds of spices per bag.

•  My favorite spices are cinnamon, allspice, and orange peel.



•  Cinnamon, lemon peel, and ginger are a good combination.


Picture of fresh mulling spices.


Picture does not depict actual amounts.

Cinnamon, allspice and prange peel-my favorite mulling spices.
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