first of all happy 2012 to all my friends and dear readers from all over. since we can't celebrate it together, i try to summerize some of our holiday related food activities in this post. i start from the week before christmas when i made a couple of christmas cookies. i made two persian types of cookies to share with my frineds and bloggers from the bay area bonnie, gina, and patty. of course we missed many of you who are far away especially joanna.:-) i made raisin cookies and walnut cookies and a couple of days later i missed some austrian cookies as well and i made some vanillegipferl.
we lived in vienna over a decade and as much as we disliked the cold winters we enjoyed the winter activities a lot there. although it gets so cold, people are out all the time mostly because of the great tradition of having christmas markets all over the city that not only offers kitschy little gifts but also have great home made snacks and hot drinks. drinking gluehwein and hot punsch keeps you warm and you can stay outside and talk to your friends for the whole night when it's 10 degrees below freezing temperature. although we are not austrian we miss the culture a lot and we have some austrian friends here in the bay area. we decided to celebrate the holidays with them making hot drinks and eating some austrian traditional snacks. this way those of us who feel homesick get a little bit of warmth in our stomachs. we made three different types of hot drinks:
- gluewein: hot mulled wine: red wine, combined with spices and served warm. in austria they have the spices mixed like tea bags but since we don't have that here, we made them from scratch using some cloves, cinammon stick and anis. the best way to do it is to leave them in vodka and rum over night and then use the alcohol the next day. the proportions of wine, vodka, rum, ornages and orange juice depends on how string you want your drink to get. i guess the later in the night most people prefer to increase the amount of alcohol. one thing you have to be very careful about is to keep the drink on low heat all teh time. it should never get to boil.
- wiener feuerzangenbowle (viennese flaming fire tongs punch) is a hot new year's or winter punch made with red wine and rum. one of our friends even brought the main ingredient for this drink which is a big sugar cone. the process of making this is more fun than making other hot drinks. you have to pour all teh ingredients(wine, juice, ornages) in the pot first and then leave a gitter on top of the pot and put the sugar cone there then pour some rum on the sugar cone and set it in fire. the sugar-fire caramelizes and falls into the pot.
since we had a couple of kids and pregnant ladies among our guests as well, we serve a kinderpunch too.
- kinderpunsch is an alcohol-free hot punch which is made of hot apple or orange juice with spices.