Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's A Wonderful Life

Yep. Watched Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and friends once again. This time on DVD since we wore out the VCR tape. Sure, I know the critics hated it. But the film has outlasted the critics.

I enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life". Always have. It's not only thought-provoking, but it never fails to evoke memories of Christmas past. Fond memories.

I feel the same about Chock Full O' Nuts coffee. The fam finally relented and bought me two bags. They hate it. I love it.

Start up a potful and with one whiff I'm suddenly transported back to crowded nicotine-stained subways into the city, Macy's glorious Christmas store windows, hot dog carts spewing steam into the frozen air like slumbering volcanoes, bustling automats, traffic cops bundled up like Frosty the Snowman in the cartoon, Checker cab drivers who actually spoke English, brown-tinged snow piled high on the curbs and threatening to gobble up the parking meters, and a face so frozen it felt like it was going to crack and fall off. Sigh...those were the days.

Here's hoping your 12 days between Christmas and Theophany (Epiphany in the Western church) are filled with Joy and similar fond memories.

And to help those memories along, here's a great recipe for Mulled Wine. Thank you, Clarence. Hope you're enjoying those wings.


2 bottles (750 ml) red wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 sticks cinnamon (or 4 teaspoons ground)
5 whole cloves
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 orange, zested and squeezed (reserve juice)

Bring the water to a boil in a dutch oven and add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaf. Return to a slow boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add the wine, orange juice, and orange zest. Warm over low heat (do not boil) for 30 minutes. Strain and serve.


  1. I love mulled wine. Even though it doesn't get cold here I still enjoy this during the holiday season (and sometimes beyond!). Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Great wine recipe :) I was having it in long snowy evenings.. just without orange and with honey instead sugar

  3. Thanks, Felice. It usually doesn't get cold here either. But the last couple of days? Yikes! Snow flurries a few miles north.

  4. I like the idea of honey, Medeja! Probably would be more authentic that way. Thanks!

  5. I have to admit, although NYC beats us down, there is something truly magical about this time of year here. Maybe I'll stir up this mulled wine recipe- if I can make it down the sidewalk to the wine shop in all this snow!! :)

  6. You're right Lesley, there is something magical about NYC around Christmas (and Chicago for that matter, too. Especially along Michigan Ave.) Here's hoping things thaw out enough for you to make it to the wine shop - the resulting wine will make the effort more than worthwhile. :-)

  7. Looooove it's a wonderful life! Oh what do those critics really know? Wishing you the best this holiday season!

  8. @White Hot Oven. I'm with you in regard to the critics. Thanks for the wishes. I'll raise a glass of mulled wine with you via cyberspace. And if we run out - there's always bloody mary's :-) (Enjoy your blog!)

  9. Yum I haven't had mulled wine in a few years! That's about the last time I watched It's a Wonderful Life! I'm due to have both again I think. Thank you for sharing this!


  10. @briarrose Yes, lovely indeed. I'll raise a glass with you in cyberspace. Enjoy!

  11. @tryanythingonce A few years? Yes, I'd say you were due. Good thing we made plenty. Now pass your glass along this way. Cheers!

  12. Yep, I don't feel like it's Christmas until I watch that movie! I love it!

    Wishing you a very happy and a healthy new year!

  13. Thanks, Kate. And a happy New Year to you as well!

  14. I've never had mulled wine, but it sounds so good with all those warming spices.

    I too love watching "It's a Wonderful Life" every year. It's a holiday tradition for me to watch that movie and "A Christmas Carol"

  15. @Cristina. "A Christmas Carol?" Mine, too. Especially the version with Allistair Sim. Happy New Year!