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Published on December 1st, 2019 | by Sarah Kirsch

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From My Home to Yours

So, the “cold” season for me is slower…less adventurous as it turns out, for the simple fact that winter and I have never gotten along. I am NOT built for it, and living in Germany BROKE me, you guys. The last time I had to dig my car out of 4+ feet of snow was the day I swore I would never subject myself to living somewhere that long underwear and snow shovels are required. Nor do I participate in the cold outings. Hard pass. But the Bavarian culture did rub off on my family in the way that we approach the holidays. Its simpler, more inwardly focused and less commercialized, and that I can get behind. A slow walk through the city center Christkindl market with a mug of warm, mulled wine and nothing to do but window shop, look at lights, and watch the local kids try to push each other through the tree binder is my idea of a good time. Trying to replicate that feeling here is hard, but not impossible. The resurrection of the “local” holiday is upon us…and I am just offering up a couple little ways for you to take that breath, enjoy a tradition, and make memories with your loved ones this year. From my home to yours.


German Glühwein
● 1 bottle bold dry red wine
● ½ cup brandy or rum
● 1 cup of water
● 1 large orange (peeled and juiced)
● 1 lemon (peeled)
● ½ cup sugar
● 5 cloves
● ¼ tsp of nutmeg
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 1 vanilla bean (halved)
● 2 star anise
Peel the orange and lemon (the larger the peels, the better). Over medium heat, add water, sugar, peels and the juice of the orange. Add the vanilla bean, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 min. Add a ½ cup of wine. Simmer for 30 more min. You should have a nice syrup as it reduces. Turn your heat to low and add the rest of the wine and brandy. Simmer to desired temperature, just remember, the longer it simmers the lower the alcohol content, so be careful.
Ladle into your favorite mug and relax. This is a great drink for sitting in front of the fireplace…with or without the AC running to make it cold enough to enjoy said fire. Southern problems require Southern solutions.

Rogers’ Family World Famous Cutout Cookies
My family has made this cookie recipe for as long as I can remember, and they are the easiest and BEST homemade cutout cookies in the history of the world. Quote me on it. I make them with my kids every year and my husband cuts them up and puts them in a bowl with milk like cereal. Yes, really.
● 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
● 1 cup REAL butter (softened)
● 1 egg
● 1 tsp vanilla
● ½ tsp. almond extract
● 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp baking soda
● 1 tsp cream of tartar
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well incorporated. (It’s easiest to do with your hands) Wrap dough in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. The following day, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters (The best ones are the sharper, vintage
metal ones!). Place cut cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with your favorite sprinkles. The more sprinkles the better. Kids are great at this. Bake at 375 for 10 min.

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