Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Wassail, part one

By Kathie Felix

Molly Weston, the editor of InSinc, the Sisters in Crime quarterly bulletin, knows her recipes. When we spoke at Thanksgiving, she was whipping up a Bailey's Irish Cream Tiramisu from instructions she found on mystery author and independent bookstore owner Kris Neri's website.

This week, as I was thinking about holiday preparations, I immediately thought of Molly as a go-to recipe source. When I asked for some ideas to share with our sisters and misters, she provided some quick and easy recipes perfect for holiday get-togethers.

Today's offering is Christmas Wassail and Dilly Crackers. According to Molly, the Christmas Wassail is great with cheese straws but, if you're lacking the time or the ambition to tackle cheese straws, go for these much simpler Dilly Crackers.

And, if you haven't already visited, check out the website for Kris Neri's bookstore in Sedona, Az., The Well Red Coyote.

Christmas Wassail

2 qt. water
1 cup sugar
3 allspice berries
1 stick cinnamon
2 cloves
1 qt. cider (not apple juice!)
1 qt. orange juice
1 cup lemon juice

Boil water, sugar and spices for 1 hour. Remove spices; add remaining ingredients. Heat before serving.

Dilly Crackers

1 bag Premium (brand name) oyster crackers (Somehow the shape of these
helps them absorb the other ingredients than other brands.)
1 pkt. dry Ranch dressing mix
1 tblsp. dill weed (I use dried)
1/2 cup canola oil

Put dry ingredients into a zipper bag & shake. Add oil, all at once, and shake until all oil is absorbed and crackers are evenly coated.

Molly Weston is an editor, mystery reviewer, media escort and lecturer on the subject of mysteries. She books mystery authors into stores, libraries and other venues in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.


Kris Neri said...

Funny. I just posted a link on FB to my recipe page. My wonderful Bailey's Tiramisu is to die for. We're making my late MIL's dish, Merfisa's Cosa Nostra Confection, which is also on my recipe page, as well as simple to make and unexpectedly yummy, considering how easy it is. It also connects my DH to his late mother, which is nice at this time. I'm going to try your Dilly Crackers -- I'm a cracker fiend, and those sound wonderful. Merry Christmas!

Kathie Felix said...

An important note: The spices should be removed from the wassail before adding the juices. If they're not removed, the wassail will have a bitter taste.

Kathie Felix said...

Oh, Kris, you'll be the cause of many a diet in the new year! Those recipes are amazing.

Msmstry said...

Kathie, thanks for fixing my omission so quickly. I was going to post it later, but you're really on the ball!

Marcia Talley said...

My mouth is watering, and the oyster crackers are going on my shopping list!

Kathie Felix said...

Thanks, Molly. I'm glad to be able to help out.

Krista said...

Molly, that Wassail sounds wonderful! I've never had Dilly Crackers. I have a bunch of people coming over the holidays, though, and that sounds like a nice fast treat! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas, Molly!

~ Krista