I'm in need of some down time today. I've had a huge, productive week outside of my home. This weekend I am trying to balance catching up on household organisation and giving myself a well earned rest.
I've washed dishes, clothes and tried to tidy up a bit. I shopped for some veggies at the farmers market. I've ferried the children that needed pickups from overnight stays.
I've watched the sun break through the clouds as though it was determined to banish them despite the chill wind which blew. The clouds have won and brought more rain and bone seeping temperatures.
That was all the encouragement I need to break out the first batch of mulled wine for the year and pull out the iPad in front of the fire.
200g castor sugar
One cinnamon stick
Six whole cloves
One whole nutmeg
Three fresh bay leaves
Two star anise
Two bottles of red wine (I use cheap wine for occasions like today, good wine for special occasions)
Grate thin slices of the lemon and orange peel straight into a pan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and grate in some nutmeg. I grated it about twenty times on a fine grater. Juice the orange and add to the pan. Cover the mix with red wine (barely cover it, you don't want to waste your wine). Over medium heat, stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for five minutes without stirring until you have made a syrup.
Add the rest of the two bottles of wine and the star anise. Warm through (not too hot or you'll burn off the alcohol) and enjoy.