Macy's Windows, Automats and Mulled Wine - It's 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. 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 pot full 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 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.

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