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What's YOUR Wassail?

CupOfTea 08 Dec 16 - 08:15 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Dec 16 - 09:21 AM
JHW 08 Dec 16 - 10:07 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Dec 16 - 10:42 AM
JP2 08 Dec 16 - 10:46 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Dec 16 - 02:05 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 16 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,ripov 08 Dec 16 - 05:35 PM
Senoufou 08 Dec 16 - 05:38 PM
Joe Offer 08 Dec 16 - 05:56 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Dec 16 - 06:38 PM
CupOfTea 08 Dec 16 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Dec 16 - 06:52 PM
JP2 09 Dec 16 - 05:21 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Dec 16 - 06:35 AM
JP2 09 Dec 16 - 11:33 AM
JP2 09 Dec 16 - 11:36 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 16 - 02:47 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Dec 16 - 04:33 PM
JP2 09 Dec 16 - 07:25 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Dec 16 - 05:35 AM
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Subject: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 08:15 AM

...and joy be to you with your jolly wassail....

As an American with deep Anglophile tendencies, I've long enthusiastically sung variations of wassail songs, noting regional differences. From Noel Sing We Clear to the Revels Songbook I've explored wassail songs from old England and the new world.

What I haven't had much experience of is what EXACTLY one drinks in a cup of wassail. This comes to mind as I'm sorting out what I'm going to make for a Community sing I'm hosting on Saturday - our third "Wassails & Whatnot" afternoon session to sing all the songs that get minimal coverage among all the carols and mall music Christmas songs (songs of winter, solstice, snow shoveling shanties, turning of the year...).

Last year I made a fairly successful libation, (then messed up not realizing the slow cooker was plugged into a nonfunctional outlet) but it was a deal of bother with baking apples, with quite a bit of lead time.

Those of you in/of England, familiar with recipes, what do you think is essential to a good wassail bowl? The range of alcoholic components in various recipes makes me undecided. I'd like to spend my kitchen time in the morning before prepping goodies for the supper friends will be returning to my house to consume, but I DO have the slow cooker, and am willing to make the effort.

Joanne in Cleveland (who will also be serving tea for those who prefer to avoid alcohol)


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 09:21 AM

There must be oodles of recipes for 'punch' on the net. As it's going to be a mixture I'd go with whatever takes your fancy and hope the others like it as well.

As one of the purposes of wassailing was to wish for a good crop of apples next year there should be some apples in there, spices, citrus peel perhaps, nutmeg, cloves. I'm guessing now but I think the country people who indulged in this would have used whatever appropriate ingredients were available at this time of year.

Wass hael!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JHW
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 10:07 AM

Beamish Open Air Museum does Christmas season night openings and in the lovely atmosphere of Pockerley Old Hall we were supplied with a 'punch' with all Steves ingredients inc bits of fruit.
We Mummers are back there again tonight and look forward to another measure. Recipe? No eye deer.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 10:42 AM

Excellent stuff! Wish I was there! If the Great Gall is there please give him my regards, and Bert and Roger if they're involved.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JP2
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 10:46 AM

Here at the Kipper Brewery and Cider Manufacturing Facility we use a line from "The Owl" viz

"Cinnamon and Ginger and Nutmeg and Cloves,and that gave me my jolly red nose".

Plus a bit of citrus in the form of oranges and lemons to taste.

We Wassail a bit late really but as we're at other people's wassails the first two weekends in January we have ours on the 21st.

JP2.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 02:05 PM

Are you a Lister JP2 by any chance?


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 03:15 PM

I've never been anywhere that "wassail" was served. It had never occurred to me before that it was a specific drink.

Is it just the English version of glühwein?


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 05:35 PM

Strictly speaking it is basically a verb "to Wassail". The Old English usage here;   and the appropriate reply was "Drinkhail" (or however one felt like spelling it).
Interesting, since we drink a 'toast' that the wassail bowl would often have a piece of toast in it.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 05:38 PM

I'm not sure if you mean punch or mulled wine or, as Jack says, a type of gluhwein?

Jilly Cooper (very upper-crust lady) said in 'How To Survive Christmas' that gluhwein is 'absolutely disgusting!'

Sorry, my keyboard doesn't have an umlaut to put over German words.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 05:56 PM

I'm from Wisconsin, and I've been back home lately to work on my "culture." My wassail? A beer and a bump, please....


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 06:38 PM

Wassailing meant different things at different times and in different places.
In southern England it seems to have mainly been concerned with orchards and apple trees and cider production. As the north is not noted for cider, here in Yorkshire wassailing was little more than Christmas carolling. I remember Wesly Bobs which were decorated hoops used as decorations at Christmas which probably once were attached to the wassailing custom. Local versions of the Yorkshire Wassail were sung as part of the begging custom and travellers used to come round with a little home-made nativity scene in a tin box asking for coppers. What is somewhat ironic is the standard Yorkshire Wassail published quite early is the one sung everywhere so in all those little villages in the south that have their lovely widely varying versions, the poor people would be singing their local version and all the middle class lot would be singing the Yorkshire Wassail from Stainer and Bell, blissfully unaware of the local songs.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 06:48 PM

Chuckling at Joe's "beer and a bump"

I've looked at several recipes - all in the vicinity of apple cider with something alcoholic added, be it hard cider, brandy, stout, etc, plus spices, served warn. Warm is gonna be critical, with us on a couple days of below freezing and piles of snow on the way.

Steve, do you realize I'm in Cleveland, Ohio, not Cleveland, England?

I'm getting the idea that a specific recipe or alcoholic component isn't necessary, and am creating our own tradition. As an American exploring the cultures of my heritage, I was curious to have some contemporary feedback on tradition.I cherish the folks who love the English trad as I do, and among those coming are dear friends from Oberlin, Judy and Dennis Cook, and Nancy Darling, who plays English Country Dance tunes when we're part of the band for the Cook's group of dancers.

Joanne in Cleveland, bracing for lake effect snow


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 06:52 PM

This is a homebrewing Yanks version.

Take a one gallon plastic bottle of Apple juice/cider.
Pour off one cup to allow "head room".
Add a "pinch" of Red Star Champagne yeast (1/8 teaspoon)

Place a stick of cinnamon, and/or fresh ginger slices.

Set aside for two weeks and release pressure every few days when pressure bulges container...it will have carbonation and about 6% alcohol. Placing the container in a refrigerator will slow/stop fermentation.

Drink and enjoy cold.

OR add cinnamon stick, allspice berries, ginger root, citrus peel, bring to simmer and serve HOT immediately...add sugar to taste if you do not like it dry.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle







Chill and drink....or heat and drink


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JP2
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 05:21 AM

In answer to your question Mr Gardham we used to have a Lister JP2 powered boat but sold it about five years ago when we retired early and no longer had the time to use it!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 06:35 AM

It wasn't a Humber Keel by any chance was it? My brother-in-law used to have a JP2 in his Humber Keel.

Gargoyle, great recipe!

Joanne, I know where you are. If I'd thought you were in Cleveland near me I wouldn't have added any info as you could easily get it locally.

Wass hael!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JP2
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 11:33 AM

No a Keel,Luxemotor,Sheffield size,Tjalk whatever were all on the wish list but with having unlimited time on our hands we thought we could get more bangs per buck and travel further and slightly faster in a Campervan so wo bought a large-ish Rapido and spend 2/3 months a year on the continent.
Where we do spend a lot of time visiting large waterways!!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JP2
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 11:36 AM

Sorry,I meant to ask the name of the Keel.

I can remember Mr.Trevithick telling me how well the Keels would go with a 21hp Lister in them.

As ours was an old one it was only 18hp @ 1000rpm but still went up the Trent like a scalded cat.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 02:47 PM

Tjalk sounds familiar. I think she was at the last Folksail at Yorkshire Waterways Museum. Chris's keel was Southcliffe, also Sheffield-size, still with her JP2 in, but he has the survey boat Ouse Patrol now. Until recently he was lockkeeper at Cromwell and we've just found out he is 'Lockkeeper of the Year' for CRT.

>>Where we do spend a lot of time visiting large waterways!!<<
And much busier waterways I should imagine. It's absolutely criminal how underused our waterways are!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 04:33 PM

That was me obviously. Cookie crumbled!


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: JP2
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 07:25 PM

Yes,John McIntosh of Peeping Tom(Boatowner) and I were discussing the award about a week ago.Is he still on at Cromwell?I thought he was going on the Maintenance Gang or did I mis-hear?
To be fair the Peniche sized boats at 350 tonnes are finding it very hard to make a living at the moment.


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Subject: RE: What's YOUR Wassail?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 05:35 AM

Aye, Chris is 'Length Inspector' on Chesterfield Canal now. I think he's trying to learn the whole system before he takes over! (Hee hee!) My god, they could do with somebody like him who understands what water does, has hands on experience and knowledge from the old guys!


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