Thursday, 8 December 2016


Good Afternoon to you,

It has been a sad week, for us, here at Ivy, Phyllis and Me!

.... because we lost not one, but two of George's uncles.

.... each passed away within a few days of each other,  so our hearts are feeling a little heavy at the moment.

Friends mean well, but I keep hearing the words "At least, they lived a good long life". You see both uncles, were in their 80's when they passed away, but you know, those words are hard to hear, when you are the person who has lost their loved one. George's aunt does not want to hear those words, because she did not see her husband as aged 80 years, her eyes only saw the young man, she fell in love with, all those years ago. It is interesting because when you have been together for a long time, you really don't notice that your partner has aged, your eyes really do see the same person, you fell in love with.

.... and I can attest to that, because George and I have been together for over 40 years and on a day to day basis, I really have not noticed him ageing.  Of course when I look at old photographs,  I can see the difference in us both, the bloom of youth has long since disappeared, so you would think I would notice the change in George, but I don't.... my eyes still see the man I married.

So George's aunt, who was married to the man she loved for 65 years is left to face a life alone.  The family will gather around her and care for her, but it will not fill the hole which George's uncle has left behind.

So if your loved ones are in the house, stop what you are doing and give them a hug and tell them you love them. 

They will love it and so will you.

.... and talking of smiles, George's uncle was of Irish descent and he loved a good party. Whenever we gathered for a family party, sometime during the evening, we would hear the words, '1 singer, 1 song' which basically meant, it was time to be quiet because someone was going to sing a song, which of course we all loved.

I remember one evening, when George's aunt and uncle came to stay with us in Cyprus, supper had finished and the dishes had been washed and put away, but no one wanted to leave the table, we were content to stay where we were. We had our coffee and continued to sit around the table talking. George and his uncle were in fine form and told us rip roaring jokes, we laughed so much that our sides were splitting.  Then  George's uncle sang.... and we all joined in.  It was one of those perfect evenings, that will stay with us forever.

So today, I thought I would play something in honour of George's uncle.

He was such a lovely man.... and for us, he will be missed.... but oh how he was loved.... and isn't that the most wonderful thing,  that when we leave this earth, we leave knowing we were loved.

.... and if you have the time, please spare a thought for George's aunt, and think of her in your prayers, as it will surely help her along her new path in life.

So today, I thought I would make,

a little tipple in honour of George's uncle.  He wasn't much of a drinking man, although he enjoyed the odd drink at Christmas and New Year. He would have loved this Christmas Mulled Cider.... although he would have asked me why there was so much 'other stuff in the drink'.... he meant no harm, he was just a plain talking man and cider was cider, why would you need to add anything else.... and do you know what else he loved.... Christmas sweet mince pies.

So it's on with the pinnie and it is time to gather my ingredients.


1 litre dry cider
3 cloves
3 star anise
1 x 3 inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 large orange - juiced


(I couldn't resist pouring the cider into George's
empty decanter.
The decanter was bought to celebrate
Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee. 
I did try to photograph the inscription,
but sadly I failed.)

Pour the cider into a large saucepan


the cinnamon stick,
the cloves,
and the
star anise,
into the saucepan,

along with the grated nutmeg,

1 tablespoon of brown sugar 
(keep the other tablespoon of brown sugar in reserve for the moment)


also add
the orange juice.

Stir the ingredients together.
Cover the saucepan with a lid


place over a high heat until boiling.
  Reduce the temperature so that the cider is gently simmering.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and very carefully taste (remember the mulled cider will be piping hot).  You might find you do not need the extra tablespoon of brown sugar.... I tend to omit it for George, but you know about me and my sweet tooth, I always divide the mulled cider in half and add the extra tablespoon, to my half.

This is the point where you have a choice.

You can serve this Christmas Mulled Cider straight away or you can allow the cider to cool, with the spices and refrigerate it overnight to use the following evening. I find the flavours infuse much more when I leave it overnight, but that is just a personal preference.

If serving straight away, strain through a nylon sieve and discard the spices.

Pour the Christmas mulled cider into heatproof glasses,
as always,


George's uncle loved Christmas cake and mince pies, so I think I will drink my Christmas mulled cider, eat my mince pie and raise a toast to the man who was so loved within the family. 

It was a pleasure to know him.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


As Always

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