So we’re smack inside winter’s icy landscape and instead of buckling beneath February’s malaise, we acclimate to it. Clad in woolen layers with wind stung cheeks we look like a picturesque ad for the season. We hike in knee high snow and climbing. Sled down icy wooden hills. Drink mug after mug of hot cocoa and snack on brown butter carrot bread. I even go so far as to tape a fireplace drawing to the wall and cuddle up to it’s bright flames with talk of ski trips (a sport I’ve sworn off for years) and mountain getaways. We’re biting into winter’s romance with an insatiable appetite.
Sure, I dream of stealing away to the tropics for a week or more. But, I can’t and won’t for a number of reasons, the top two being steaming cups of elderberry hot toddies and warm loaves coconut ginger banana bread enjoyed in front of our newly installed faux fireplace on any given night.
You’ll have to draw your own fireplace, but I will leave you with the hot toddy recipe that’s sure to get you through the rest of the month, and possibly into spring.
Elderberry Hot Toddy
Yield 1 serving
2 tablespoons dried elderberries (place inside a tea strainer)
1 teaspoon raw honey (or sweeten to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 ounces rum
1/2 orange slice (studded with 3 whole cloves)
Put the first four ingredients inside an 8-ounce mug. Fill the mug with very hot water. Cover with a plate and allow the flavors to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea strainer and cinnamon stick. Adjust sweetener and add the optional garnish.