I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
I’ve been waiting so long to do this: Wassail!
In case you don’t know, wassailing was a traditional UK custom involving a warm, spiced alcoholic drink (which obviously would have been farmhouse-made) known as wassail.
It generally included apples (wild ones, much more tart than we’re used to now) and winter, immune-enhancing spices.
I did two versions. The first was with a home-made, non-flavoured rye ale (that had been bottled for 2 days). To this I added roasted apples and lots of warming spices. The second was with the same rye ale but from a bottle that had been second fermented with a wild apple and juniper paste that was made locally. I just added spices to this one, no extra fruit.
We’d just been for a long walk. Up a hill. In the rain. It felt amazing to cuddle up on the sofa and wrap our hands around this.