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ready for it

Recipe: spiced apple cider

Alas, Alack. Today, the last day of summer, is near an end. Such a bummer, eh? Maybe for you… I think the majority of the people I know will name summer as their favorite season. Not this girl. No way. I’m sure most folks would peg me for a winter lover, but my favorite season is autumn. Honestly. Truly.

it has begun

I quite enjoy all of the seasons, but autumn has always been my favorite. It’s not just the fall colors, the cooler temperatures, and that softer light. It meant the start of the academic year, women’s volleyball season, September birthdays, Halloween, apple picking, chili cook offs. Now it means switching to flannel sheets, getting in those final hikes before the big snow storms, tuning my tele skis, gearing up for the fall shoot (camera, not rifle), hearing elk bugle in the morning mist, Kaweah’s thicker winter coat, more baking, dusting off the crock pot, watching Orion rising earlier and earlier in the East.

mingling of seasons

My strength has been returning to me each day, and each day I peer through our picture windows to see what the aspens are doing across the valley. Today, we set out for a reconnaissance of our local colors. It is still early, but they have arrived. Walking among the green and yellow stands, I am invigorated – thrilled to be alive and bathed in the golden light of the aspens. You can see more from the recon on the photoblog.

another gorgeous colorado day

Nearly every day, at least once a day, Jeremy will put the kettle on and ask me, “Would you like a hot drink?” And nearly every day, I will reply, “No thanks.” I generally don’t drink hot drinks between March and December… it’s just too… hot. But I will make exception for a few hot beverages – like spiced cider. I learned this recipe in 4-H when I was nine years old. It’s simple and delightful. A perfect cup to greet guests with when they brave the cold and step into your house for a party or dinner. Also terrific for curling up with a mug, a book, a pup, and a warm quilt.

spice it up: orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks

When I first learned to make this, we used apple juice from the store. That all changed in graduate school because the Cornell Orchards (heck, all of Ithaca) sold apple cider every fall. It gave the spiced cider a whole new flavor and texture.

pour in the cider

So while it may still be acting like summer for some of you, keep this easy recipe handy when it finally cools down. It is guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies.

a taste of autumn

Spiced Apple Cider
[print recipe]

6 cups apple juice or apple cider
1 juice orange, washed and sliced
2 sticks cinnamon, broken
6-7 cloves, whole

Bring apple juice, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot.

42 nibbles at “ready for it”

  1. Cate says:

    I love the way the orange slices match the changing leaves. I’m so ready for Fall!

  2. Rosa says:

    Autumn is also my favorite season, along with spring! Your pictures are truely beautiful! I love the colors!

    A deliciously spicy drink!



  3. Grey Street Girl says:

    Okay, I haven’t been able to make any of your scrumptious recipes because it’s just me and it’s cheaper and easier to just eat a cold turkey sandwich, but this is one recipe I think I will give a try. The oranges make it seem extra yummy! Bring on the Fall!

  4. Manggy says:

    ARRRH! Those are some beautiful shots. I’ve never seen a temperate fall before (only Spring in Europe and the US), but I have a feeling I’d love it a lot. If I had plenty of thick clothes, heh :)
    I am happiest about the news that your strength is coming back day by day. That is just awesome!! :)
    I had to look up the difference between apple juice and apple cider, especially since my understanding of cider is the alcoholic type. But I’m sure even the latter with the spices would be a welcome insides-melter!
    I just came across this article just now. I’m curious to hear what you think of it.

  5. Kitt says:

    Mmm, hot apple cider season is here! Love the aspen shots. Guess I’d better get up there in the hills next weekend!

  6. peabody says:

    Yum, yum! I just bought apple cider today at the Farmers Market.
    We are in full Autum swing around here and I am loving it, since it is my favorite season.
    Gorgeous shots of the changing landscape.

  7. Holly says:

    I’m with you – Autumn is my absolute favorite season! I love the colors of the leaves here in New England and I can’t wait to go apple picking – apple butter, here I come!

    I’m a big fan of apple cider. It is a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I can’t even imagine a cold-weather holiday without it!

    I’m not much of a hot drink person either (except for coffee … LOVE coffee). I will definitely be trying this recipe because as much as I love cider, I’ve never made hot-spiced cider!

  8. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    How lovely. Apple juice is hard to find here but every now and then I do come across some. It tends to be cloudier and tarter than back home (so really closer to cider) so it might work well for this recipe. Beautiful photos as always.

  9. Tartelette says:

    I have been hating summer since I moved here…ehehe!! Fall is such a gorgeous season, except here…Dang! That’s it! I am moving!! Gorgeous pictures and what a wonderful cup of cider, it would heal a lot of little troubles.

  10. Margie says:

    My nose tickles at the mere thought of this wonderful delight. I long for cider all twelve months of the year. Fall’s quietness has always left me begging, ‘More sunshine, please’…or, if at the beginning of it’s cycle, ‘Please, give me that daylight!’

    I am a beggar to the sunshine. I find the end of summer sad, haunting and challenging, to a spirit that lags when the shadows lengthen, the days shorten their light. If only I could submit to the process that is necessary for renewal. Living in the concrete jungle there are no realistic forays into the mountainside, along a creekbed or amongst the changing colors. We are stuck by the noise of false light from the ATO, the buzz and hum of the gas guzzling machines, and the silence of the birds that have since, migrated. PLEASE, I BEG YOU!!!! Submit these words and their colors often. As I enter into the SAD state I need reminded of all that is so beautiful.

    Thanks sooooooo much for Light!

  11. Sharon says:

    This is the second time I stumbled upon your blog while “searching for something else”. I’ve spent way too much time here reading…thank you…You inspire me with your strength, spirit and talents… I’ve bookmarked this now and will be a regular

  12. aerawrite says:

    i love fall too, but maybe because it’s so quickly fleeting.

    it’s so weird, i’ve always considered myself a city girl but looking at your pictures and posts–maybe i would do better in a more bucolic setting..? those mountains and trees look beautiful. i love new york, but it’s bringing me down.

  13. Louise says:

    i’ve always enjoyed looking at your pictures. today your pictures get me into the Fall mood!

  14. Mollie says:

    Yum yum yum! Fall is my favorite too. The other seasons all have their charms, and I’d miss them if they didn’t come ’round, but fall is my time of renewal too. Growing up in a house with teachers it was always the “new year” that counted most, a time to get back to “regular programing” after summer fun and heat. And it really does have the best food – the last of the fresh harvest and the start of the warming winter dishes. mmmmmmmm

  15. Anita says:

    I’ve always been a warm weather girl, but I have to admit I do appreciate the beauty and romanticism of fall. Beautiful pics – and I love how you get all these shade of yellow in them!

  16. jennywenny says:

    Mmmm. We just spent the weekend in Boulder and were very happy to see that the trees were turning. I’m very jealous of your lifestyle although I’m really appreciating the extra oxygen now I’m back at sea level! What a spectacular place…

  17. Mrs Ergül says:

    I abhor summer, sorry folks, there is a tendency to get sick of it when it’s summer all year round over here.
    While I love something (a lot) cooler than summer, winter might be too hard for me to survive through!
    Light jackets, sometimes just a shawl is perfect for me, perfect for fall!

    Great drink, my hubby is gonna love this. He is a clove guy!

  18. Andrea says:

    I love fall too. This weekend we bought new flannel sheets and yesterday I dug out my crockpot and made a pot of green chili. And the apple cider, mmmm. I am going to have to pick some up soon.

  19. Asianmommy says:

    I love your pics! Warm apple cider is the best!!

  20. Laura says:

    Oooh oranges. I’ve never had oranges in cider. I need to give this a try. And although I could never live anywhere as cold as where you live, fall is also my favorite season. For all the reasons you mentioned plus sweaters, soup, stews, bread, braising, butternut squash and, most important :) football.

  21. Lindsey says:

    I can see why Autumn in Colorado might be your favorite…I love mulled cider!

  22. Nate says:

    The changing of the seasons from Summer to Fall is beautiful. But it is bittersweet, as I think my favorite season is Summer. Goodbye Summer! *sniff sniff*

  23. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I love those fall colors – I wish we had so well divided seasons here, too.

  24. eula says:

    Beautiful photos. I love autumn as well. Your blog always reminds me of Cornell and Ithaca. I just graduated from Cornell and I miss Ithaca so much. I’m home in NYC now. Such two different worlds.

  25. Lo says:

    Hey I live in Colorado, and I know its fall and I wanted to know if you knew where would be the best place to go see the fall colors this weekend ?

  26. Irene says:

    Beautiful pictures! I’m glad you are gaining in strength. In SoCal, we don’t get the fall colors, but there *is* a stubborn little red leaf that braved the 78 degree weather today… Fall is surely coming.

  27. Melissa says:

    I adore autumn, it is my favorite as well. I think part of the reason is because I spent my young autumns in New Hampshire, where the beauty was indescribable. I am admittedly a bit jealous of the colors around you right now.

    But autumn anywhere seems to have this “feel” to it, this smell in the air. It smells like nostalgia. I look forward to the weather, and the food…

  28. Aran says:

    and autumn in colorado is heaven! no wonder it’s your favorite season… it’s my favorite season as well although we won’t get much of it here. i have been drinking a lot of cider lately… just a lovely post jen!

  29. Holly says:

    Like you, I love Autumn… I’m not quite ready for it since it means cold & flu season too – but I am loving the change in the weather. I actually love all the seasons for different reasons, but there is something extra magical about Autumn. I am bookmarking your cider recipe to make as soon as possible! I’m so glad you are starting to feel better – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Autumn is my favorite season too. Ironically, I live in a place where there isn’t one. Sigh……

    I think I’ll have a glass of your cider, turn the a/c down realllllly low and dream.

  31. Isabella says:

    I linked you immediately, your blog is fantastic!

  32. Pam says:

    Your pictures are exactly why I love the fall. It’s my very favorite time of year… I love the colors, the brisk air and cooking “slow and low” – and of course baking. Your cider looks fantastic – it makes me want to start a fire and read a good book.

  33. bee says:

    oh, yeah, i lived on this through winter during university (in england) – mine had a big dash of dried ginger.

  34. Tony says:

    oh, no! what am I going to do without the ridiculously delicious cider from the Ithaca orchards?!? This will officially be my first winter as a graduate… scary : (
    I love the flavors you chose!!

  35. Lori says:

    I love Fall too. I do not really like summer since my tryst in AZ. THe heat cured me for life. Now, for the past ten years or so, I absolutely love Fall. And that mulled cider, well, talk about something to cozy up to! I am glad you getting your strength back.

  36. Susan says:

    I’m afraid to send this to the boy because I’ll be asked (told) to make it. I’m still not ready for fall yet but there are so many festivals right now that it makes weekends really fun. It’s also cross season, if you haven’t explored that yet (or aren’t a bike girl), check it out. Cross race, then festival.

  37. jenyu says:

    Cate – me too!

    Rosa – thank you :)

    GSG – yeah, I don’t have a lot of easy recipes for one, but I’ll have another good beverage coming up soon enough!

    Mark – fall is a great experience. Yes, we’ll wrap you in a down jacket and send you running through the woods :) Oh boy – that article… well, I would assume that men who have those traditional beliefs don’t tend to respect women, and they probably don’t respect others and so are more likely to be cut-throat to get those primo positions that earn more money. I dunno… it fits the MO, no?

    Kitt – yeah, I think it will peak this weekend. I’ll be outta town.

    Peabody – oh, I bet autumn is lovely in Seattle!

    Holly – lucky girl, I think New England has the most gorgeous colors in fall. I’ll have another hot drink posted perhaps next week. Stay tuned!

    Joanne – thanks! I do like it both with apple juice or with apple cider :)

    Tartelette – poor woman, you need to come visit us for a much needed vacay. I would take you around to all of the good fall colors too!

    Margie – get it while you can, it doesn’t last too long here before winter arrives!

    Sharon – thank you. I’m glad you’ve found something you enjoy!

    Aerawrite – sorry to hear it. You aren’t too far from some lovely countryside. I recommend heading to Ithaca an the Finger Lakes region come October to catch some gorgeous fall colors and a slower pace :)

    Louise – yay!!

    Mollie – I’m all about the Halloween candy, myself :) hee hee!!

    Anita – thanks! I think capturing pictures is great to share with others while they don’t have to endure the winds or cold or allergies or bugs or heat or… ;) I’m happy to oblige!

    Jennywenny – are you guys nearby?? If you lived at our elevation, you’d love sea-level even more… it’s like being on jet fuel! :)

    Mrs. E – I totally hear ya, sistah! When I lived in So Cal we had summer and then a brief “fall” and then back to summer. I don’t know how people live in the tropics!

    Andrea – sounds awesome!!

    Asianmommy – thanks!

    Laura – yeah, something just clicks in my brain when the weather has that cool snap to it!

    Lindsey – autumn is my favorite just about anywhere as long as the weather cools and the leaves change :)

    Nate – ohhhh, I’m sorry :( It will be back – that’s the good thing about seasons!!

    Patricia – I guess our seasons are quite well divided, although winter seems to get the lion’s share. Good for skiing though! hee hee.

    Eula – you’re totally right! Nice to hear from a Cornellian!

    Lo – Rocky Mountain NP, Aspen, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Steamboat Springs. That’s the latest I’ve heard!

    Irene – Oh, my dear – if you live in So Cal, you can drive up to the Eastern Sierra and catch some gorgeous aspen stands out of Bishop!!

    Melissa – I think NH has us beat on colors. I am partial to the reds more than the yellows and all we get are yellows (mostly).

    Aran – thank you, dear!!

    Holly – you must have kids if you’re talking cold and flu season. Since we’ve moved to the mountains, neither of us has come down with colds or flu like we did when we lived in So Cal. Thanks!!

    Susan – honey, if you come out here between Sept 23 and Oct 4, you will get your autumn fix :)

    Isabella – you’re so sweet!

    Pam – warm fuzzies :) Love them!

    Bee – mmm, ginger sounds wonderful!

    Tony – I know, I wondered the same thing when we left. Thanks!

    Lori – I’m a total heat wimp! :) Thanks so much.

    Susan – considering my current recovery from major surgery and my track record with crashing into things on my bike, it’s best for me to pass on cross season and just prep myself for tele season :)

  38. johanna says:

    spiced apple juice (rather than cider) has become a favourite winter drink in lieu of punch… the kids can join in and we parents are no longer rolling around on the floor after a cup or two ;-) yummy! your pictures look so amazing!

  39. Manisha says:

    We were in RMNP this past weekend. My husband saw some color on his hike to Flattop Mtn. I saw next to none on our hike to Gem Lake. Fall color eludes me in Colorado!

  40. Susan says:

    I don’t race, I hold the water bottle and the camera. It’s much safer for everyone and I don’t have your good reasons.

  41. jenyu says:

    Johanna – oh, that is so funny! I love the idea of parents getting sloshed on cider :)

    Manisha – it’s here, hon! Drive Peak to Peak, or check out RMNP again – the colors have arrived!

  42. swtiris says:

    So its fall and I’ve been in an apple cider mood. I’ve been looking for a quick hot apple cider recipe and I actually tried one out the other day. It turned out fine, but I think it definitely needs that twist of orange.

    I didn’t think to check your website since I usually go to this when I’m looking for Asian recipes. Definitely pleasantly surprised :)

    I’m definitely going to try this recipe soon, especially as the temperature starts dropping.

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