It’s beginning to look a lot like Easter…at least around here. The mild temperatures and general grayness seem better suited to daffodil season. A few winters ago, it started snowing on the first of December and continued on a weekly basis (every Tuesday night as I recall). Our city received more than 100 inches of snow that year, twice the average. More recently, we had a winter where it was so cold for so long that even the evergreens gave up. They started to die and then gradually turned brown all spring and summer. Some years, we’ll have a drab November and December, and then on Christmas Eve, the snow will come as if it’s the end of a children’s book or made-for-TV movie. We dream of white Christmases, but often do it with fingers crossed. I’ll keep baking and listening to Bing Crosby anyway. Meanwhile, here are some links for the week.
An easy mulled wine recipe: I’m not a wine afficionado. I tend to like wines that taste like candy, juice, or syrup (see: port). Sweet and spicy wine served hot is the perfect winter drink for me. I made this recipe earlier this week when we decorated our Christmas tree. I added the orange slices at the end as one commenter suggested.
A new Christmas cookie to try: My family’s line-up of Christmas cookies and desserts has—for the most part—remained unchanged since I was a kid: peanut butter blossoms, Russian teacakes, candy cane cookies, fudge, gingersnaps. A couple of years ago, my mom introduced a new cookie and now I make it every year. They’re called World Peace Cookies but they were originally known as Korova Cookies. Find the recipe here.
A poem for the season: Go here to read Timothy Steele’s poem, “Toward the Winter Solstice.”
Stories from Syrian refugees: “Humans of New York” photographer and blogger, Brandon Stanton, is in the midst of sharing stories of Syrian refugees who have been cleared for resettlement in the U.S. He traveled to Jordan and Turkey to document their stories and shares them here and on his Instagram account. It goes without saying that the Syrian refugee crisis is a politicized—and often polarizing—issue. It’s easy to forget that at the heart of it all are individual people with stories and dreams and tragedies of their own. If you’re interested in giving financial support to Syrian refugees, there are some good organizations addressing their needs. One I’d recommend is World Relief.