Sunday, October 24

Fall celebrations

The lake at Fort Wilderness
Well, goodness. Where to begin. Jill and I had a fantastic fall break from school! We just returned this afternoon from a weekend of camping in the north woods, and visiting with our dear friend Lauren. We had quite the adventure, and you can bet your bottom dollar, food was a large part of the adventure!
Our afternoon, at Lauren's coffeeshop
Jill and I set off on Thursday morning, with no directions but north, our handy map, a car full of food and cassette tapes (a perfect combination of items, if you ask me!). We were headed with the end destination of Fort Wilderness; where Lauren is working lately. When we arrived, we were greeted with Lauren's radiant smile and the beauty of the north woods. The colors were so vibrant here, and there was so much fresh water, everywhere. Really, a revitalizing setting indeed.
Several food adventures were had throughout the weekend. For our first morning, which greeted us with a warm sunrise over the lake, we had planned to make oatmeal. However, we realized that we hadn't packed any sweeteners (which really isn't the end of the world, especially when you are camping with two clever friends!). Our solution? Brew some tasty tea, and then cook the oatmeal in the tea! We used a chai tea and it resulted in a tasty spiced oatmeal. For an even tastier treat, toss in some apple slices and some raisins. We enjoyed this breakfast treat twice, with no complaints. We also enjoyed some fresh popped popcorn in the evenings, which we prepared over our handy little camp stove. It was such a treat, and so simple to make!
On our way south, we also stumbled upon a farmer's stand. Of course, we pulled over to check out the fresh produce and much to our delight, we met the most friendly farmer of all. With him, we shared friendly conversation and purchased some squash, freshly dug potatoes (with remnants of the soil they were grown in, still lingering!) and some lovely dried flowers. Even though the day was gray and drizzly, his bright smile warmed the mood.

Tonight, as we reflect on the weekend, we decided that there was nothing left to prepare on a fall day, but mulled wine. Mulled wine is a fall favorite of Jill and mine. In fact, I was surprised that I hadn't written about it yet! But, this is the first batch of mulled wine we have prepared this season (though it will certainly not be the last...) and so I am happy to share the recipe with you!
A warm mug of mulled wine! 
For a warm fall treat, that will warm your heart and soul, I urge you to make a batch for yourself:
Mulled Wine
1 jug of your favorite red wine
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
10 all-spice berries
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1cup of brandy

1. Combine all the ingredients and heat over low heat. Allow to simmer and share flavors.

2. Pour into your favorite mug and share with your favorite friends!

Now, this recipe is all approximations. We change it a bit every time, but this serves as a great base! Tonight, we will share this with some dear friends, as we work on a fall puzzle: it is bound to be a good week, indeed!
Happy eating (and sipping!)

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