Actually, the season is almost over. That's why we have to enjoy every second left of apple season, and with it, apple cider both cold and hot. Here in Pennsylvania the leaves have already fallen, and the frost has killed off everything in the garden except for the kale, garlic, and celery (which, honestly, I did not plant--I think my husband snuck it in--but it's looking really good).
All my kids (and my niece Shelbi, too!) love my hot cider. And it's so easy to make. The key is starting with real cider, preferably organic. Here is the recipe:
Maria's Hot Apple Cider
4 cups apple cider
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 organic orange or tangerine
1. Put the cider in a pot on the stove.
2. Throw in the cloves and cinnamon stick.
3. Slice the orange in half. Squeeze the juice of one half into the cider. Then slice up the other half and throw it in the pot, skin and all (which is why it's so important to use an organic orange).
4. Heat and serve!
And here is one other thing I like to do with apple cider--add it to a vinaigrette salad dressing.
Maria's Apple Cider Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh apple cider
1 giant pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1. Mix the vinegar, cider, and salt.
2. Add the olive oil and stir with a fork (the way you would scramble eggs).
3. Toss into a salad, preferably one that contains some toasted walnuts, and maybe some sort of cheese. Yum!
Apple cider is one of those things that softens the blow of the upcoming winter. But alas, winter is on its way.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.