Earlier this week our learning circle gathered to make felt lanterns for the winter solstice. It was an exciting and wet activity, next time I will remind everyone to bring an extra change of clothing. Our lanterns turned out a little misshapen with some thin spots, but felted wool is surprisingly strong and made for beautiful lanterns. Yesterday’s first significant snowfall made our solstice celebrations feel appropriately wintry and there was plenty of sledding and skating. We brought some mulled wine for sharing (recipe included below). As dusk approached several children worked on making edible garlands that would decorate a nearby tree and feed the animals. With the decorations and felt lanterns in hand our group processed to a tall ponderosa pine and dressed it in popcorn, cranberries, parsnips, apples and oranges. The lanterns were lit and carols were sung with great gusto. The children then proceeded to run with their lanterns to the pond skating rink and that was the beginning of our journey into what will be the longest night of the year.
Adapted from Jamie’s Mulled Wine.
2 bottles of Shiraz
200g (about 1 cup) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
Peel of one lemon and orange (removed using a peeler leaving as much white pith behind)
Juice of one orange
In a medium sauce pan add the sugar, spices, citrus peels, orange juice and about a cup of wine. On medium-high heat dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rest of the wine to the infused syrup and warm over medium heat. Serve immediately or keep the mulled wine warm in a slow cooker on low.