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  • I've truly loved working on all 8 of the books I've done so far (7 in print, 1 coming out in 2016), but this new book, on creating a southern foods pantry, is so very personal as it closely mirrors the foods I grew up eating, but with a decidedly modern approach. Today @glennbenglish and I made Brown Butter & Bourbon Braised Cabbage (below) and Apple Butter and Cheddar Pork Chop Stacks (above). So many culinary ghosts of my childhood and youth came 'a calling with each delicious forkful.
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  • #tbt to what might possibly be my favorite photo of Huxley ever. This was from 1 1/2 years ago, when @glennbenglish posed our little honey bear (then 3 years old) with a bit of honey from our hives.
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Hard Times, Hard Cider

I meant to post again sooner, but, alas, life had other plans. Those plans, in no particular order, included: helping my friends make flower magic happen on 3 weddings, hosting my in-laws for 4 days, building a chicken tractor with my long-suffering husband, visiting the Biltmore estate for the first time since I was 16 and delighting in the Vanderbilt’s contribution to the establishment of the Pisgah national forest, writing 3 chapters for my “Raising Chickens” book, visiting an apple orchard with my grandmother and mom, tending to an injured chicken, making a pumpkin cake with brown butter and caramelized walnuts (thanks Martha!) for my brother, baking goodies for my friend Nicole’s fabulous birthday party (there was a 5-person accordion performance-need I say more?), buying firewood, and breaking in my new autumn coat. I also realized during this period that I am considerably less reclusive than I had imagined myself to be. I suppose I’d taken all my work-related social interactions for granted. 


To that end, I decided to “take back the social” and have ramped up girlfrienderly get-togethers. Which is how I came across the best Hot Toddy ever at local watering hole The Admiral. In all honesty, it is the only hot toddy I have ever had, and so, having no others to compare it to, the odds in its favor were considerably high. Nevertheless, this drink was good. Really good. Warm your toes, your tongue, and your belly good. What separates this hot toddy from the rest, I’ve since learned, is the inclusion of apple cider. And so, in the spirit of all things local and toe-warming as the weather chills and the stock market plunges, I encourage you to pick up a jug of apple cider(preferably from a nearby orchard), select your favorite bourbon, find a source of local honey (great for sweetening things up AND for keeping seasonal allergies in check!), and hoist a glass. 
Hot Apple Cider Toddy:
Serves 1
-3/4 c. fresh apple cider
-2 oz. bourbon or whiskey
-1 Tbsp. honey
-2 tsp. lemon juice
-pinch of ground cinnamon
*Warm the apple cider. Drizzle honey into bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add cider, bourbon, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. The top of the cocktail shaker may pop off a bit at the beginning as the contents expand from the warmed cider, so you may want to shake container over a sink. Strain contents into a glass and serve!

9 Responses to Hard Times, Hard Cider

  • Anonymous says:

    Sounds similar to the homemade cold medicine my mom used to make for me when I was sick as a child.

  • Yummy!

  • Walking through Central Park yesterday my friend and I were hit by a cold blast of wind. She exclaimed how she wanted a Hot Toddy.

    Now, I had never heard of one, but am thankful for this recipe.

    Can I serve this as an end of dinner drink (in lieu of coffee) alongside a dessert. Is that appropriate?

    Glad design sponge brought me to your blog. . .

  • You could absolutely serve these with dessert. A gingerbread, applesauce cake, or molasses spice cookie would be ideal. I think I need to go preheat the oven…

  • sarah says:

    this look like a great recipe! didn't even think of adding apple cider to hot toddies! (i've just done the hot water/lemon version) what's your favorite whiskey?

  • Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, or Elijah Craig are all great options. However, since you're using such a small amount, and the flavor nuances will largely get lost, it isn't necessary to use your finest whiskey or bourbon (or even Scotch). Save those for sipping.
    For just you or your sweetie (or a prized friend), I say use the good stuff. If you're brewing these babies for a crowd, second tier hooch will work fine.

  • Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, or Elijah Craig are all great options. However, since you're using such a small amount, and the flavor nuances will largely get lost, it isn't necessary to use your finest whiskey or bourbon (or even Scotch). Save those for sipping.
    For just you or your sweetie (or a prized friend), I say use the good stuff. If you're brewing these babies for a crowd, second tier hooch will work fine.

  • right on! do preheat the oven. . . i just found a recipe for a caramel apple upside down cornmeal cake. looks delicious in the picture.

  • Elaine says:

    Ok. I'm sold. Need to make hot toddy . . . and perhaps a caramel upside down cornmeal cake!!!