This is the time of year when I start to get in a Christmas panic. There seems to be so much to do, all in less than a month. I need to write Christmas cards and queue for hours at the Post Office to get stamps. I have to think about what presents to buy for whom. The weather is dull, grey, cold and damp, making me feel less inclined to want to do anything at all, save huddle up by the fire with a glass of mulled wine.
Mulled wine is one of the things that makes winter tolerable. Here is a good recipe:
2 bottles of red wine (if you have made blackberry or elderberry wine, use 1 bottle of either to give added fruitiness, otherwise a full bodied red will do nicely)
1 lemon, stuck with cloves
2 oranges, sliced finely
8oz demerara sugar
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Roast the lemon in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. Bring from the oven and mix with all the rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat well, then strain off the fruit and serve piping hot.