The temperature is going to drop down into the twenties tonight, a rarity for this odd winter, which has been so warm that we have been gardening in tee shirts and sandals most weekends. Now I am not complaining about that, but I am celebrating the cold weather. The cottage is freshly cleaned, and I hand-washed all my woolies and hung them out in the fresh air to dry. Our favorite winter squash soup is bubbling in the oven, thick with cream and Gruyere cheese, almost ready to be sprinkled with a little thyme and served with a hunk of crusty bread. Eric has been outside this afternoon, putting the final touches on the squash trellis he and Ryan built from cow panels and 4 X 4 lumber last weekend. The beautiful trellis gives me good reason to leaf through my seed catalogs by the fire this evening with a warming toddy.
A toddy is simple to make, but the combination of the ingredients–tea, honey, lemon and brandy–is pure bliss when the wind kicks up and a chill gets in your bones. It is positively medicinal if you have a sore, scratchy throat or if you are a bit overtired and cranky. Not that I am, or anything! A hot toddy is an old-fashioned remedy for a multitude of problems. If you have the chance, raise it up to the next level by using great quality tea, Meyer lemon, a decent brandy, and local honey. Then curl up by the fire and enjoy.
1 tbsp honey
3/4 glass tea
2 shots brandy
1 slice lemon
Brew tea and fill a tall glass 3/4 full. Mix in honey. Stir in brandy and add lemon slice.