We have a bounty of apples at the cottage at the moment.  I plucked a few that were on the verge of falling off and a friend also gave us a bag of apples from his own bountiful harvest.  Finding things to do with apples is not a problem for us as we eat a lot of them.  The iatrophobic lovely Sharon eats an apple a day and I usually have two a day.  It is also good that they keep well.  Apples can be kept for a year under the correct conditions.   There is even a variety that has been breed to be stored for two years! A few of the slightly bruised apples cannot be stored and it was these apples that I looked at and began to think about lamb’s wool.

Lamb’s wool is a drink that is sometimes called ‘wassail’ in England.  The word ‘wassail’  comes from the middle English ‘wæs hæil’ meaning ‘good health’ The Lamb’s Wool’s name is said to come from the Irish “lá maois úll” a “day gathering apples”.  I have read about this drink but never actually made it.  Tonight we baked the apples in the oven then ground some nutmeg and almonds.  We mixed some cream and egg yolks while a little home-made ale simmered with honey on the stove.

We sipped the drink tentatively and were both shocked; it tasted great.  It was not even close to tasting like any of our vague expectations.  It was terrific, calorific even, until half way through a glass.  When the glass was half empty (or half full, or the wrong size of glass (pessimist, optimist, engineer)) I began to suspect that it was far too sweet.  Then I eventually realised that I had made up an amount that was half the ingredients of the recipe apart from the honey.  I forgot to halve the honey.

The rest of the lamb’s wool is in a kilner in the fridge and will be tested on guests tomorrow.  It will be a small gathering to celebrate a space voyage.  It will be to celebrate the little man’s first orbit of the sun.  Wassail little man.

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