Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Here We Come, Walking Down The Street

We get the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet!

Hey, Hey we are wassailing! (Guess I am channeling The Monkees)

Wassailing was associated in the United Kingdom with the Twelfth Night celebrations. These involved blessing the fields and remembering the twelve apostles. Along with drink, there would be a range of Twelfth Night customs including singing, merrymaking in disguise, guessing games and begging to enter a house. At times drink would be demanded while at other times drink would be brought by the participants to the house.

Below is a recipe for Bishop’s Wassail that uses red wine.

1 Bottle red wine
1Pint water
½ lb Honey
1 Lemon and orange, thinly sliced
4 Cloves
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Heat the ingredients, stirring constantly, to just below boiling point.
Pour into a punch bowl, at this point you can add some spirit and raisins. If you add a generous amount of Brandy, it is possible to set it aflame!

It was also often the custom to float toasted bread on top of the steaming liquid, hence the origin of our expression "to propose a toast".

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wand'ring,
So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.

Lubricate those vocal cords and find your mittens!