Winter's Brew (Glühwein)

A few weeks ago, one of my husband's friends brought us a huge bag of juicy sweet raisins from Turkey. They were so good, but unlike the raisins we buy here, they had seeds in them. I wanted to find a way to enjoy them while they're still fresh, so I brought out my crock pot and came up with this drink. It's a warm, sweet mulled-spices drink. It tastes just like German Glühwein - except it's completely alcohol free. It's a great family-friendly alternative to hot apple cider. It's so good, if I do say so myself! :)

Winter's Brew (AF Glühwein)

2 cups raisins
Peel of 1 orange
1/4 cup dried elderberries (great for colds and congestion - get it in the bulk herbs section of your local health food store)
1 whole nutmeg (use one you've already grated from)
1 dried clove (use more if you like - I just like a hint of it)
1 small stick cinnamon
Cheesecloth or nutmilk/nylon bag

Place everything in your nylon (nutmilk) bag or a large piece of cheesecloth. Tie the bag or, if using cheesecloth, gather ends together and tie at the top. Place in a crock pot/electric ceramic cooker. Fill with water 1 inch from the top (I don't know the exact capacity of my crock pot - but it's large - though the pic below doesn't represent that well). 

Turn crock pot to the highest setting and place the top on it. Every few hours, use a large spoon to press on bag (to help crush the softened raisins).

Let your brew stew for 6-8 hours. More sugar will be released from the raisins the longer you stew it- and the sweeter it will be.

Serve warm! This is a delicious drink to serve at parties or to enjoy with family on a cold day.

Tip: The elderberries give this a great fruity taste. If you can't find them, try frozen cherries or dried blueberries.

I hope you'll give this a try!



What I would do for 5 dollars

I'm working on a qualifying paper, a precursor to doing my PhD dissertation. I think it will determine whether or not I will/can continue in the program. Not 100% sure I want to, though :) --- It's been a hectic and fast year.

I'm glad I had the summer off where I spent nearly 3 months at Optimum Health Institute in San Diego. Even got to visit their facility in Austin a few weeks ago....

Anyhow, on to what I would do for five bucks.

I've been editing and writing for about 10 years now - for the past five, consulting on everything from government documents to fiction/non-fiction manuscripts. Due to school, I had to get out of major professional writing, but was still able to manage a few large/ongoing editing jobs a year. 

However, since I really don't have a lot of time these days, I figured I'd try doing a lot of small jobs. In comes a website I stumbled upon: www.fiverr.com

You can find a whole host of things people are willing to offer up or want to buy for $5. It's pretty cool.

I know a lot of people out there are looking for jobs (I guess I sorta am too :), so I figured offering a proofing service for resume cover letters would be a fun way to try the service out.

What would YOU do for five dollars?

Check it out: