Being English, traditions die hard in our house. To celebrate Twelfth Night we not only took the Christmas decorations down, but we “blessed our apples”.
Back in the olden days, any self respecting country villager would put a pot of spiced cider on the stove and make merry Wassailing. This involved singing jubilant songs (loudly) for the neighbors, and then tying bits of toast to apple and pear trees – to ensure a good harvest in the coming year. That, it was hoped, would lead to more merriment and wassailing.
Given that I have a few apple and pear trees in the garden (albeit espaliers and very immature), we decided to recreate our English rites with our own Wassail ceremony. Unfortunately we ran out of apple juice, so I made a spiced vanilla drink (with coconut milk) to warm our cockles. Once I added the brandy, everything was great.
The toast and ribbons were hastily fashioned out of loaf ends, and then we ventured outside for the decoration ceremony.
In typical British fashion the heavens opened and we “blessed” our trees to nature’s downpour. I recited a few verses of prose from the home country and we called it a day.