Happy Halloween from the Last Frontier!
‘If you go out in the woods today, you’re in for a hairy surprise…If you go out in the woods today, you’ll likely meet a bear’s eyes…It’s Halloween and pumpkins abound, where bears and moose are all around…Today is the day the animals have their picnic!’
By eating the pumpkins on my front porch that is! Welcome to Halloween in Alaska!
Our first confirmed bear visitor to the yard occurred this week, when Rogue the German Shepard dragged a piece of scat (I just don’t know how to say that delicately without cursing) up on the porch.
I am that Mom that will dissect it to figure out what it is. After close analysis, with Bridger’s help, we determined it was a black bear. That’s awesome…Trick or Treat takes on a whole new level of fun!
Halloween in Alaska is just a lot different than Arizona or Hawaii, or even Utah and Idaho! It’s dark, it’s cold, there’s snow and BIG animals, and it’s the perfect time for Hot Apple Cider!
Nothing, and I mean nothing, tastes better than a steaming cup of cider while sitting around a warm fire at the start of the fall holiday season!
This simple recipe for Hot Apple Cider is not only perfect for Halloween, but Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years as well. The batch makes 6 servings, but can easily be reduced or the leftovers stored and reheated.
One note: If you have the idea of heating it up in a crock pot to serve it up all day, that’s fine, just don’t allow the orange and lemon peels to stay in there the whole time as they can become bitter.
Hot Apple Cider
- 6 cups apple cider
- 1/4 c. real maple or birch syrup (Don’t have any? Substitute 1/8 c. brown sugar or to lighten it up, use Splenda Brown Sugar)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 1 orange and lemon peel (or 1/2 of each for less citrus flavor)
Pour the apple cider and syrup or brown sugar into a large stainless steel saucepan and mix together.
Place spices and peel in the cider of if you don’t like fishing them back out, place in a coffee filter, or piece of cheesecloth, tie it off, and place it in pan. Personally, I’m totally kosher with letting the spices swim.
Then, heat slowly while stirring occasionally, without allowing the cider to boil. Taste after about 10-15 minutes to judge if it’s strong enough for what you like. I’ve found 20-30 minutes is about right, but if you like it stronger, by all means, let it go longer.
Remove the spices, then serve it up!
So simple, so delicious…Hope you enjoy!