Friday, December 16, 2005

Here We Come a Costco-ing!

I went to Costco today—mostly to lay in supplies for the holiday. You know, eggs, paper towels, fire logs, bird seed. Usual stuff. I thought about going right when it opened at 10:00 a.m., but last time I did that I found myself standing in a sea of middle-aged women, each armed with a shopping cart and wearing sweatshirts with flowers and kitties on them. Anxious to avoid that scene, I decided to go at noon, figuring it wouldn’t be as crowded, all the ten o’clockers having already shopped and left.


Not only was it crowded, the parking lot was full, people circling in their cars, waiting to nab the next open parking spot. Of course, my parking gift held up, a spot opening up for me just one aisle and seven slots from the front door. Hee hee.

Inside Costco it was complete mayhem. Honest, I’ve never seen it so crowded. It was made worse because instead of staying on the right-hand side of the aisles—which everyone knows you’re supposed to do, right? (Do I sound like my mother?)—people had their carts here, there, all over the place, even stopped dead right in the middle of the aisle, and you’d get wedged in and couldn’t even move. Not much fun, although I did find a great gift for Mom, which I can’t describe here in case she reads this. With that find, I believe that my shopping is done!

Now I’m sitting in the living room, gazing out on the GG tree and waiting for Bill to come home. It’s Date Night, but we’ll probably just get dinner and do some shopping.

I had a party on Wednesday night—for my fellow graduate assistants and our professor/advisor. I served a wassail-esque hot mulled wine and everyone asked for the recipe. Thought I’d share it here, too. This is a yummy, warming beverage, perfect for those chilly winter nights. Enjoy!

* * * * *

Mulled Wine (based on a recipe from "The Joy of Cooking")

In a small kettle, combine 2 C. water and 1 C. sugar. Boil for 4-5 minutes, covered. Cool

In a large kettle, combine:
Peel from 2-3 lemons and 2 oranges
1.5 C. lemon juice
Juice from two oranges
The sugar syrup (above)
6-8 cinnamon sticks
2 T. whole cloves
1 T. whole cardamom seed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (do not omit this—it is essential!)
1 T. whole allspice (optional)
4 bottles good red wine (I used Shiraz; burgundy is also good)
Fruits: a small apple, sliced; half a lemon, sliced; 1-2 oranges, sliced; a handful of fresh cranberries; raisins (use any fruit that is handy-- it adds flavor and makes the brew look very old-worldly)

Bring to a simmer-- do not boil!

Before serving, stir in a generous grating of nutmeg (fresh, if possible).

Taste before serving. If too sweet, add a bit more lemon juice. If too tart, a bit more sugar. As the mixture sits and simmers, you may need to add some water to keep it from becoming too concentrated.

Note: the above recipe also works with apple cider.


Erin Pez said...

Flowers and kitties on sweaters... you don't like those? Damn, I hope its not too late to return your Christmas presents.

Moonwriter said...

It's sweatSHIRTS. Shudder.

Katie said...

I guess this is one time I'm glad I didn't get to go grocery shopping with Mommy!