Snow & mulled wine

Our little snow adventure started very early this morning, with calls of excitement from Noel - it's snowing Julie, it's snowing!!  

We've lived here for almost 5 years and it's never snowed, and from all reports it seems it hasn't snowed here from many, many years. When we lived down south in Tasmania, in the Huon valley, we experienced snow up to our back door, but never this much!  

With a mixture of interest and reluctance, Biscuit sits in wonder of all this white stuff.

With my gumboots, jacket and gloves on, I head out to do my morning chores.  

It looks cold, but it's not that cold, and I can't help myself stopping and marvelling at everything covered in snow - even the sheep! 

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Coming back from feeding the ducks and the sheep the sky starts to change colour.  How magical is this!  What must it be like to experience this weather at Christmas time, a real Christmas for sure.  

While standing in the paddock with just my sheep for company, I announce out loud....."one year we will make that journey and experience Christmas on the other side of the world!"

Down to the chook pen and Lucky the rooster seems pretty unimpressed with this snow stuff, he hurries back inside to finish off his breakfast.

What luck, yesterday I made a small batch of mulled wine!!  No, I won't be drinking it this morning, as tempting as it might be - a hot cup of tea is good enough for me right now.  But the fragrance that lingers inside the house is adding to that whole Christmas feel.....it just feels right!

There are many wonderful recipes online, this one comes from Jamie Oliver.

Recipe: Mulled Wine 

2 oranges
lemon
1 lime
200 g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
2 star anise
2 bottles red wine - I've gone with a Cabernet Merlot. 

Peel large sections of peel from your oranges, lemon and lime.  Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium hear, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the orange juice.  Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 - 12 gratings of nutmeg.  Thrown in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil.  Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup.  This creates a wonderful flavour base.  When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine.  Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm - enjoy!

Enjoy your snow day Tasmania! x Julie