Autumn Cider

This recipe fills your home with those aromas many Southerners associate with the coming of cool weather: apples, cloves, cinnamon, and oranges. I recommend tangerines, satsumas, or Valencia oranges, and a mix of tart and sweet apples.

To a gallon of water, quarter about a half dozen apples and three or four oranges, depending on size. Don’t peel the apples, but by all means peel the oranges, saving a strip of peel for zest. Add four sticks of cinnamon, a teaspoon of whole cloves, and a thumb of peeled ginger.

When the apples are soft through, let it cool. Then mash and strain, first through a colander, then a wire strainer. For better clarity, use cheesecloth. Add the juice of a lemon, and brown sugar to taste. A healthy slosh or two of dark rum ensures a warm reception.

Photo by Natalie Maynor

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix

Mix 2 cups powdered sugar with a cup of cocoa, 2 ½ cups dry milk, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of cornstarch, and a teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste. Mix very well and store in an airtight container. This makes about 5 ½ cups. When serving, place two heap-ish tablespoons of the mix in a mug, stir in about a half cup hot water or milk (a drop of vanilla or almond extract is di-VINE!), combine thoroughly, top off with more hot liquid and stir. Serve immediately.