Apparently, the word wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘waes hael’ meaning good health. Wassailing is an ancient British custom involving the consumption of a hot spiced drink based on cider or ale. A couple of years ago my husband, who doesn’t much like mulled wine, decided to start a new family tradition of wassailing, an excellent and very popular plan. Last night was wassail night here, involving husband’s own idiosyncratic interpretation of the wassail cup. I’m a bit hazy on the details, but his version of the drink comprises a base of scrumpy cider with the addition of sloe gin and Spanish brandy (don’t ask me how much; you just sort of fling it all together in a pan). Add some spices, as for mulled wine, and a bit of sugar, heat it up then pour into a bowl. You ladle it into sturdy glasses, all cry ‘wassail’ and then drink.

The weekend just gone was the weekend of ┬áthe winter solstice and it’s been very cheering to have a bit of seasonal wassailing. Here in northern England the days are very short and the nights very long at the tail end of the year. Now that we’ve got past the shortest day I’m looking forward to seeing a little more light each day.

I’m now two months into my blog, and it’s becoming part of my routine. I’m going to take a break for the next week or so, but I have several blog posts planned and ready to go in the New Year.

If you’ve been reading this and/or other blog posts , thank you and a seasonal ‘waes hael’ to all.

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