Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 York Family Year In Review

Our children got to enjoy snow the first winter that we were in our new home.  They even had their first ever horse drawn ride with our neighbor and his dog.

The brothers found a new place to call home and shoot guns.

Spring came and Josh went to the prom.  No, his date wasn't this cutie pie, but it was her sister.  By the way, this little girl still refers to Josh as hers.

Spring also brought us our first garden here in our new home.  By the way, it was probably the best garden that we have ever had.

The end of May brought Jacob graduating from middle school and heading into high school. 

Summer brought Missy posting herself on guard on the front porch.  She enjoyed watching the birds and the kids play.  She doesn't like the heat very much so she has become more of a porch dog as she gets older.

Summer also brought about a bad eye report for our youngest son.  This required us to patch his good eye.  We bought him a sword and a hook, and called him Captain Fatbaby.

Summer gave way to a new school year.  This school year rocked our world with me getting a job at our local high school as a teacher.  By the way, I am loving it!

The garden kept producing and I kept canning even though I was now working full time.  Michael also took his spot in the kitchen as the garden kept gifting us with beautiful treasures.

We celebrated our daughter's 13th birthday.  She also has been wearing braces for over a year now.

We watched our boys play football and our daughter play basketball.  We celebrated Joshua's football season as well as his 18th birthday.  With his birthday came the signing of papers for him to become a Marine. 

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with family this year.  We then came together to celebrate Christmas with just the 7 of us on Christmas day here in our home.  The end of the year has seen us resting, relaxing, traveling, studying, cleaning, hunting, and cooking. 

I hope you stick around to see what the new year brings for our family.  I fully expect animals to come to our property this year.  The only two things Jacob asked for this year for Christmas were sheep and a German Shepherd puppy.  He didn't get either this year, but I have a sneaky feeling that next year he will have some animals to enjoy.

 Happy New Year!!!!!

grace and peace,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011 and Some News

Christmas came and went once again this year.  Here is a short recap of how our family celebrated the Christmas season.

Hope and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen fixing all the goodies. 

There was a lot of laughing and eating this year.

Our Christmas tree was decorated right after Thanksgiving while our college son was home.
We then loaded up the suburban with all 7 of us plus our son's girlfriend and headed to Kentucky to celebrate with our family there.  Missy stayed home alone this year.  Our neighbor came and checked on her while we were gone.

We had Christmas with Michael's side of the family.  The next day we celebrated with my side of the family.

Hope enjoyed her second cousin a lot.  I enjoyed him too!  I also got to spend time with my niece and nephew.
My brother and I even took time out for a photo.
We traveled back home and waited another week to celebrate our family Christmas here in our home.  Matthew came home again.
This was about the best I could do with our family Christmas photo.  These kids just aren't very cooperative first thing in the morning! 

 I enjoyed the last few weeks so much.  This Christmas was extra special to me this year.  First, it has been 7 years since all of our kids have been in Kentucky together to celebrate Christmas there.  This Christmas has the potential to be the last Christmas for awhile that all 5 of my kids will be home to celebrate.  Joshua enlisted in the Marines, and only the Lord knows where he will be next year.  I tried to savor each and every laugh, conversation, hug, and memory that was made this year.  While I am very proud of our son, the reality of him leaving home soon hits this mamma's heart hard.

Josh wanted a guitar and lessons this year for Christmas.  We were happy to comply with that request.  It has been awhile since he took piano lessons.  I look forward to hearing him learn to play guitar!  I don't look forward to August when he leaves for boot camp!

grace and peace,

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Bean Bag Chair and an English Mastiff

Seth and Missy have been enjoying a lazy afternoon.  Somebody left Hope's bean bag chair in the living room.  I guess Missy thought it was a large pillow so she helped herself.  Then along came Seth with a video game and decided to use both the bean bag chair and Missy.  They spent all afternoon in this position! 

grace and peace,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! 

grace and peace,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters Recipe

I would have never tried this recipe if I hadn't eaten the peanut clusters first.  With one bite, I knew I had to have the recipe.  My sister-in-law was more than happy to share.  She is good like that.  This maybe the easiest candy recipe out there.  I know it is a bit on the expensive side to make, but it does make a lot of clusters.  My cake plate is almost empty, but there were a lot more on there just a few days before.  Hope you enjoy this one!

Peanut Clusters

12 oz can unsalted peanuts, dry roasted
12 oz can salted peanuts, dry roasted
1 bar German chocolate (green box found in the baking aisle)
1/3 bag of peanut butter chips  (found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips)
1 bag chocolate chips
1 and a half block of white chocolate (this is the candy quick found in the baking aisle or almond bark)

Layer in crock pot as listed.  Cook on warm for 2 1/2 hours.  Stir together, then drop on wax paper in clusters and cool. 

grace and peace,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Simple Joy of a Gracious Southern Christmas

I saw a quote in a magazine the other day, and it touched my heart enough to share it with you. 

"May you enjoy the simple joy of a gracious southern Christmas." 

When I first read it, I was struck by two different thoughts.  The first thought was about the SIMPLE joy.  Too often, Christmas becomes crazy and anything but simple.  I like a simple Christmas.  Actually, I like a simple holiday season.   Your definition of simple and mine may be quite different.  I find it pleasurable and simple to putter in the kitchen making holiday candy with my daughter.  You may find that task deplorable and stressful.  You may enjoy knitting or sewing.  I would rather go to the dentist than to sew anything!  It is up to each of us to find the balance between a simple Christmas and the responsibilities that come with the holiday season. 

The second thing that caught my attention with the above quote was the "gracious southern Christmas."  I know what that looks like in the magazines.  I also know what that looks like on t.v.  But what does that look like for me in real life?  First, I want my house in order.  It doesn't have to be spotless, but it does have to be clean.  I enjoy burning candles in the evening and watching the Christmas lights twinkle.  I enjoy gathering with my kids and watching Christmas shows on t.v.  I enjoy cooking big meals and baking goodies.  I enjoy spending time with my kids and their friends around the dinner table.  I enjoy being with my husband.  A gracious southern Christmas isn't one of perfectionism, but one that enjoys each and every moment of the holiday season. 

grace and peace,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Broccoli

This has been the first year that I have harvested fall vegetables during the Christmas season.  Our broccoli is glorious this year.  We have enjoyed broccoli soup along with plenty of broccoli and cheese as a side dish.  I also harvested lots of romaine lettuce and buttercrunch lettuce.  Our collard greens have produced in abundance as well.  Our cabbage is the only thing that hasn't grown to completion yet. 

When you walk past our fall garden, it looks kind of sorry at this point.  However, it is still producing and we are still enjoying the goodies.  My rosemary, oregano, and mint are also still hanging in there from this summer's garden.  Next year I would like to add green peas to the fall garden. 

I know that Christmas isn't even here yet, but I am already thinking about my spring and summer garden.  In just a few short weeks, I will be planting my seeds for the beginning of the spring garden. 

grace and peace,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot Cocoa Mix

Winter time in our home brings traditions for our family.  While I love the summer time and all the business of the garden and outside fun, I also treasure the slower winter months.  You might find me curled up on the couch reading a good book or our family huddled together on the couch watching a good movie.  Whatever the case may be, you can be certain to find hot cocoa mix sitting on our counter waiting to be enjoyed by one of the kids.  I LOVE this mix stirred into a cup of warm milk.  It is truly a decadent treat.  My children stir it into a mug of warm water, and my husband has been known to add it to his coffee for a mocha type treat.  If my hips would allow, I would partake of this cup of goodness every day.   I hope you enjoy!

Hot Cocoa Mix

1 Box Powder Milk
1 Regular size Coffee Mate Creamer
1 Regular size Nestle Quick Powder Mix
1 1/2 cups Powder Sugar

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.  To make a cup of cocoa, mix 1 mug of warm water or warm milk to 1/2 cup of mix.

grace and peace,

Help with Header Image, Please

Has anyone else had any problem with their header image?  One day everything was fine, and then the next day my picture had shrunk without me changing anything.  Now every time I try to add an image to my header it shrinks. Any help with this would be appreciated!

grace and peace,

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Husband Comes to My Rescue

I love my husband's Droid phone. He uses it to surf the web while he deer hunts.   Apparently he just found my latest post, which happened about 15 minutes ago, and decided to offer his help for my meal list.  I guess he panicked at the thought of eating fast food/pizza again this upcoming week.  Here are his ideas:

1.  Broccoli Soup and Sandwiches  (apparently broccoli soup by itself is an incomplete meal)
2.  Grilled Mushroom Swiss Burgers
3.  Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with a good tomato (Where in the world does one find a good tomato in December)?
4.  Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies 
5  Ravioli Casserole, Salad
6.  Chili Dogs
7.  Meatball Subs  (I am going to change that to Sausage and Peppers.  I just need a good bottle of wine to make this dish).
8. Grilled Pork Chops and Veggie Side Dishes
9. Chicken and Dumplings

Notice Michael's meal list.  What does almost every meal contain?  MEAT... He doesn't even take the time to spell out what veggies sound good to him!  My men are truly carnivores!  I am just thankful for the ideas.  Any ideas that you may want to contribute, please feel free.  I still have several slots left for dinner for two weeks!

grace and peace,

Help! I Need Meal Ideas

Our house is all decked out in its Christmas attire.  I am so thankful that we accomplished this task the Saturday/Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I ended up getting sick this past week, and I haven't been much good for anything.  I haven't cooked the last three days.  I think this is a personal record for me, but I just haven't felt up to making a meal.  Pizza Hut has come to our rescue as well as a few fast food joints.  I am hoping to put a list together today so my husband and I can go shopping.  I don't think I have enough energy to do it by myself.  This bug has really gotten me down.  I am even having a hard time coming up with something yummy to cook for the upcoming meals.  The only thing that sounds really good to me is broccoli soup.  Lucky for me, I cut our garden broccoli the other day before I got sick so I have plenty of fresh broccoli for my soup. 

As I have been curled up under a blanket on the couch, I have so enjoyed the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree.  I can focus on the huge tree instead of all the mess that is piling up around me.  I did hear my husband and son up early this morning.  They were doing dishes and laundry before heading out to deer hunt this morning.  I bet Jacob needed underwear and Michael needed a cup for his coffee! Whatever the reason, it was music to my ears. 

What are you feeding your family this week?  I might just be a copycat since I can't come up with any of my own ideas!

grace and peace,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just a Thought

We have had a visitor the last few days.  As much as I enjoy seeing a hawk on my fence post, it also reminds me that we will need to protect future chickens.  I am looking forward to bringing the animals back on the farm this coming spring. 

grace and peace,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tired Dogs

This is the way we all felt today.  We were all tired from the Thanksgiving celebration.  We had a wonderful time with family, and I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with everybody.  After our family left, we celebrated Joshua's 18th birthday.  We then decorated the Christmas tree so that our oldest son could be a part of that fun before he went back to college.  We crammed a lot of fun and food into a few days.  I think we all need to go back to work and school so we can rest up for Christmas! 

grace and peace,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let the Cooking Begin!

The groceries are all bought and put away for the big upcoming Thanksgiving week.  After I got home from work today, I began to cook for Thanksgiving.  I made and froze the pie crusts.  I made an ice-cream cake and oreo balls.  I also made a double batch of fresh cranberries.  Tomorrow will find me cooking for every one's arrival on Wednesday.  Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Potato Salad, along with Baked Beans will be filling up the plates for Wednesday's dinner meal.  I will also be making fudge for my niece and an Apple Cake for my mom.  Michael offered to cook tomorrow night's supper so that will free me up to spend another evening for cooking ahead.  I want to get as much done ahead of time as possible so that I too can enjoy being with all of our out-of-town guests.

grace and peace,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Night Fun?

As you well know, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I have always loved this holiday.  My family will be coming to our house this year to celebrate Thanksgiving so I have lots of things to accomplish before the big day.  I have already planned the meals for next week, and I have also made out the shopping list.  Now I have to do the shopping so I can get started with some precooking over the weekend.  Michael offered to shop with me this evening.  He must be hungry or else he probably wouldn't  be so quick to suggest going with me.  I don't care what the reasons are behind his offer.  I just need extra muscles and hands to push the second shopping buggy!

grace and peace,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last Time

Recently our son's high school football team celebrated Senior Night. 

Then he took the field for the last time.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed my freshman #28 and my senior #54 playing the game of football together.  There is something so special about watching my two boys play together and encourage each other.

 Josh, #54, had a wonderful football season.  I am pleased with all that he has accomplished on and off the field this past year.  I am pleased with the new coaching staff.  I am thankful for each and every one of the coaches that have poured into my boys' lives.  I am especially thankful for the one who took Josh under his wing when we first moved here.  That man really has no idea just how much of a difference he made ( and is still making)  in Joshua's life.  My heart will forever be grateful. 

I know many people do not value sports, but for our family sports has had a wonderful impact on each of our children.  Yes, the kids have learned how to play the game, but there has been so much more to it than just learning a game.  There has been the wonderful aspect of learning character and having the opportunity to apply that character when there is adversity.  Sometimes my children have missed the mark, and I am thankful for each coach that has been there to point them back in the right direction.  I am thankful that my children have had the opportunity to play a game and learn so much.

grace and peace,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

What does a veteran look like?  They are fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, and friends.  They are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and friends.  They come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common.  A desire to serve our country and protect our freedoms. 

Thank you always seems like such a cliche thing to say on Veteran's Day.  However, it is all I have to give to the people who have given so very much for me.  Then I realized just recently that I have more than just words on my lips.  I have actions.  I watched my 14 year old son do something that brought me to tears in Walmart several months back.  As we were checking out the groceries, he walked to an elderly man sitting on a bench wearing a hat that said he was a veteran.  Jacob went up to the man and shook his hand and said, "Thank you for serving our country."  The man smiled, and at that moment I knew I had more to give to a veteran than just a thank you.  My husband and I have passed on the value of veterans to our children. 

Many of you know that my husband served almost 12 years in the Navy.  At times it was hard, but I am so thankful for all that time taught us as a couple.  I am so thankful for the friendships that were formed from those days of being in the military. Many of those friendships still remain today.  I am so thankful for the job/career that the Navy trained my husband for today.  I am so very thankful that I was a Navy wife in those early years of our marriage.  I know the cost, and I am still thankful.

grace and peace,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

BonFire Nights

Missy has been busy lately enjoying bonfire nights.  She is always excited when it is time to make the fire because she knows that yummy food is sure to follow.

She is very helpful when it comes to choosing the right piece of wood for the fire.  She wants to make sure that her hot dogs and marshmallows are cooked to perfection.

Smelling the wood to decide which piece to choose...

It appears she is hiding something in her mouth.  I bet she got into the marshmallows!

grace and peace,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catching Up

I have spent the last few days catching up on some of the things that have gotten behind in my world.  At the top of my list, I wanted to get outside and enjoy nature.  I love being outside any chance I can get, and  being in a school building all day has been different for me.  I miss the beauty of the outdoors, and the feeling of calm that comes with nature.  Michael and I stole away for a bit Sunday morning and we spent some time outside.  It was a much needed treat for me.

I also didn't realize how far behind on things I was until I started to try and catch up on those things!  Wow, many daily things have been left undone so I am thankful for the extra cleaning that has happened around our house this week.  I also have spent time grading papers and recording grades.  I felt like a huge burden had been lifted from me when I had completed that task.  I try my best to stay on top of the grading, but sometimes it does get the best of me. 

I have enjoyed my time in the kitchen and my kids have enjoyed the results.  I felt like I had gotten behind on the nice meals for my family.  Jacob was setting the table the other evening and he wanted a tablecloth.  I didn't have one clean and that seemed to bother him.  I am glad that my boys want things to be nice when we come to the table together.  It is something that they all value because I have valued it over the years. 

Well, speaking of family dinner, I must go and make Chicken n Dumplings, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Yeast Rolls, Sweet Tea and maybe something for dessert.  Hope you have a blessed day!

grace and peace,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Break Cooking

Our school is on fall break this week.  My husband took vacation time and we are enjoying time with the kids.  Matthew, our son at ETSU, didn't get the same fall break as our school.  He is due to come in the last part of October.  It has been awhile since we have seen him, and I am ready to hug his neck. 

Michael and the boys are enjoying the time deer hunting.  We are all enjoying some relaxing time.  I am also taking this opportunity to catch up on some school work as well as house work.  It amazes me at just how quickly  a house can get undone!

I am also enjoying being in my kitchen.  I am making the dishes that take extra time that I don't have during the school week.  I am also enjoying baking pies, breads, and cakes.  Fall has always been my favorite time of year to cook.  I am thinking about Thanksgiving and looking for ways to do things early so that I can enjoy hosting my whole family while also working a full time job.  I think I have some plans that I will share a bit closer to the time. 

Today, I will be grinding wheat and making whole wheat bread for our neighbor.  He brought his team of horses and his disc to prepare the big garden for winter.  I know he likes my cinnamon raisin bread so I will be making some for his family as well as ours.  My recipe is on the sidebar if you would like to try it for yourself.  If you want to try a banana bread that is wonderful, check out that recipe on the sidebar too.  The banana bread is the one that is in the above picture.  Happy cooking and baking!

grace and peace,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Football Mishap

Guess where we were last night?  If you answered, "Children's Hospital in Chattanooga", you are correct.  Jacob was knocked out while making a tackle during the football game which required a trip to the hospital.  It was determined that he had a concussion, but he will be just fine with a few days of rest. 

Let me just say that I was beyond impressed with the hospital.  The facility was wonderful and the nurses were amazing.  They covered Jacob with stickers and had a great time with him.  This made him much more relaxed for his CAT scan and his x-rays.  They brought him little sprites and everything.  When we first got to the Children's Hospital, he was still a bit disoriented.  All the patients were little and dressed in their jammies.  He sat down beside me and asked me why we brought him there with all the little people.  I assured him he was in the right place.  After spending just a few minutes there, he realized that he was in the right place.  I am so thankful for the care, and for the people who serve in that profession.  I am also thankful for insurance and that my child will be alright.

grace and peace,

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Hope's Concern

Hope came home yesterday evening from basketball practice and opened the refrigerator to get something to drink.  As she stood in front of the open door, she looked confused.  She then said, "What's wrong with the refrigerator?"   I asked her to explain what she meant, and she responded, "There is nothing in here.  It is just empty and clean!"   This pretty much sums up my pantry as well as my refrigerator.  However, my canning pantry is stocked full to the brim with garden produce.  Somehow my kids don't want to snack on canned jalapenos!

This all leads to my morning be full of grocery planning and shopping.  I have been putting this one off for as long as possible, but alas we have no more meat in the house.  There isn't even a morsel of chicken because the last three meals have consisted of chicken.  My husband was gracious about it last night, but not happy since chicken isn't one of his favorites.  He tolerates it, but that is about all.  It was a good thing that I had a pan of homemade yeast rolls on the table!

Well, I am off to spend more money than I would like at the grocery store.  On the up side of things, maybe Hope won't be worried about the refrigerator once it is full again!

grace and peace,

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Garden Vegetable Pie (Quiche)

My fall garden is full of broccoli plants.  I think there are over 70 of them out there!  We love broccoli, and fresh from the garden broccoli is in a class all of its own.  My family loves broccoli steamed with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, but they also like broccoli in casseroles.  Here is a quick and easy dish to serve for a brunch or as an easy supper with a salad or a soup.  The easy part is that you don't have to make a traditional pie crust for the quiche.  The best part is that it tastes great.  By the way, I have substituted zucchini for the broccoli in the spring when we had zucchini coming out of our ears.  It was wonderful that way too.  Hope you enjoy!

Garden Vegetable Pie  (Quiche)

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 medium carrot grated
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Blend milk, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.  Stir in rest of ingredients.  Pour into a greased deep dish pie plate.  Bake about 40 to 45 minutes in 400 degree oven or until set and brown. 

grace and peace,

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sunday Scripture

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him."

Lamentations 3:25

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Garden

We have had our fall garden planted for several weeks now.  I love fall gardens because the bugs aren't usually a problem.  Our fall garden is always just an eating canning required!  This is also another reason to love gardening this time of year.  We have broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, lettuce, and cauliflower planted.  I meant to plant peas and spinach, but I forgot to pick up the seeds. 

God and the rain brought back our flowers these past few weeks.  I am enjoying the last few bits of color that these flowers are bringing in our world.  Hope y'all have a great weekend.  You can find me in the herbs pulling the weeds!

grace and peace,

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Fall

Our second grader came home from school today and reminded me that today is the first day of fall.  I am so thankful to see the heat of this past summer melt away into the cooler days of fall.  Tonight we will be enjoying our high school football game.  The cooler weather makes for a much more enjoyable football experience!  Our oldest son will meet us at the game so I will get to wrap my arms around him.  I am looking forward to seeing him even if it is just for the game. 

On Saturday, we will be throwing a birthday bonfire to celebrate Hope's special day.  That day will find me cleaning house, grocery shopping, and making food for the party.  I plan on keeping things simple for the bonfire, but I do want to spoil the kids that come a bit.  I ordered a birthday cake from a bakery because Hope asked for a bakery cake.  She shares my love of bakery cakes!  Dessert will be the simple part.  I plan on serving hot dogs that the kids can roast over the fire.  I guess that counts as simple too.  I will have a crock pot full of Pulled BBQ Pork along with another crock pot of Cowboy Beans.  She has asked me to make my Chicken Salad, which doesn't go with anything else on the menu.  I will oblige her since it is her 13th birthday.  Otherwise, I would throw that idea right out the window!  I will also serve Hot Apple Cider, Hot Coco, and a few appetizers.  Of course there will be fixings for Smores.  

I am looking forward to spending some time hosting a get together for her friends.  Since I am at the high school, I don't get a chance to spend as much time with Hope's friends as I would like.  This will be a great opportunity to enjoy seeing some kids I haven't seen in awhile, and it will be fun doing something big to celebrate Hope's birthday!

grace and peace,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hope Shalom

It is hard to believe that our baby girl is celebrating her 13th birthday today.  Once again, our house has three teenagers!  We are going to really celebrate her birthday this weekend with a good old fashion bonfire and friends.  Josh did check out of school today to go pick Hope up from her school so he could take her out to lunch at a local restaurant.  I am thankful that he was able to do something special with her on her actual birthday.

Happy Birthday, Hopie Shalomie!!!!

grace and peace,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

Before you attempt to make my Hot Apple Cider recipe, you need a cold, dreary day like the one in the above picture.  This is the perfect setting for a nice cup of cider.  Hope you enjoy!

Hot Apple Cider

Place 18-20 whole cloves and 4 cinnamon sticks in a cheesecloth.  (On occasions that I haven't had a cheesecloth, I have just placed the cloves and cinnamon sticks in the cider without putting them in the cheesecloth.  When it is time to take them out of the liquid, I use a slotted spoon. It is a bit more trouble, but it works when I am in a pinch).

In a large stock pot, add 1 gallon apple cider, 1cup mild honey (This makes the cider very sweet.  If you don't like things very sweet, you may want to cut back on the honey), and 1/2 cup orange juice.  Add the whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. 

Heat slowly until hot. Simmer 30 minutes.  Let stand 2 to 3 hours before serving.  After an hour, remove spices so the cider doesn't get bitter. 

I sometimes make this cider in my crock pot if I am hosting a large gathering.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Reheat to enjoy.  Take a mug of Hot Apple Cider to the front porch with a good book and enjoy the beauty of fall!

grace and peace,