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Hot Apple Cider with Kid Assembled Spice Pouch
We got a late start this year,but finally, on Saturday night, buckled down with 9 pounds of almonds and bagged and tagged 25 gifts of cinnamon almonds for a few friends and family! I wish we could make hundreds of these and give one to every person in the neighborhood! It's not the time, because these babies are super easy and fast to make, but it's so dang expensive! We paid about $4.50 per pound of nuts. Although, we probably could have gotten a few more bags out of the 9 pounds if we didn't eat so many nuts as we bagged them. But hey, how could you not? That's part of the tradition!!
While the cinnamon was filling the air with it's aroma, we also decided to make some hot cider. Did you know that cinnamon's scent boosts brain function? (source). It hasn't helped in my case, but maybe there's hope for the children.
TJ (my 4th grader) did a fun thing for their classroom Christmas party this year. The room moms decided to have a mug exchange! Each kid brought a mug that they would trade via a game, and then they would all use their new mug to drink some hot cocoa! I loved that they did this. It was fun for us to go find a mug that he wanted to gift to someone in his class. We found him a University Of Utah mug (he loves to make his favorite college team my Alma Maters rival!).
My grandmother was a collector of mugs. I really love when grandmother's collect things, because it makes gift giving super easy. Literally every Christmas and birthday we would find her a new mug for her collection. She had them all displayed on a wall in her kitchen with hooks. It took up the entire wall! What a fun collection, right!?! Mugs can provide memories for places traveled and people met. The mug in this picture was from our Japanese student Ana! She worked at Tokyo Disneyland. Every time we use it we think of her!
OK, enough with the memories!! This cider activity is super fun for kids! All we do is assemble our ingredients. We used whole cloves, whole cinnamon sticks, orange peel, ginger, and a coffee filter. For a family who doesn't drink coffee, we sure use a lot of coffee filters!
Then, the kids can add a little of everything into a coffee filter, and then tie with a string to keep it together.
Then, we added the pouch of cider ingredients into a pot of apple juice (we use 1 pouch for every 2 cups of apple juice.
Bring the cider to a boil, and reduce it to simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat off and wait for it to cool slightly. Then, remove the filter pouch with tongs. You'll want to drink it while it's still warm, but obviously, not hot!
What a delicious tradition to start, especially if you want to do it Christmas Eve or Christmas morning!