Christmas Gifts

I’m almost certain Seth won’t be reading this before Christmas.

Almost…

But I’m so proud of my herby wines, I just can’t resist sharing. It’s been an emotionally draining autumn and winter. The house is cozy, but the world outside is a tempest. In our little house, we can feel heavy winds shake the canvas. The rain pounds against the roof, and the snow comes whooshing down the sides.

But the world’s tempest is farther off. It doesn’t touch our little patch of wilderness – yet. So we’re staying home more and more, behind our guard of birches.

This Advent, out house is cozier than ever – little catches of gifts are everywhere, waiting for the Nativity. Socks, books, slippers, and my beautiful wines.

I bough big, inexpensive bottles of shiraz and pinot grigio, and infused them with herbs for about a week (3 days for the chilis!). Then I strained and bottled them up.

There’s a theme: Wine for a Time of Tyranny, of course.

Last weekend, I strained out my chili, cacao, and bourbon blend: I laughingly called it “Burn it all Down” because there are certainly days when we feel the need to cut ties and burn bridges. There is a noticable burn in the flavor too, but the cacao nibs helped bring a smooth richness. Sipping it, I feel as though Rilke is beside me: “just keep going..no feeling is final.”

I’ve also bottled “Leave Me Alone”: linden, hawthorn, ginger, chamomile, and yarrow. Steeped in wine with a dash of gin, it’s the wine for that feeling when all the news comes crashing in. When cashiers scowl at your unsealed mouth or you see yet another soggy masks decaying in the snow. It’s a heartachy feeling, hence the abundancd of hawthorn and yarrow.

Still steeping under the icebox, I have my last, unstrained red wine infusion. I’ve called it “Revolutionaries Need Love Too”, and it’s full of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, brandy, rosehips and orange. It’s the warmth of firelight and the comfort of friendship, because in this dark season of deep shifts and wild uncertainties, we need each other more than ever.

I’m wrapping them all up for my husband’s Christmas gift. As the year wanes and we celebrate the newborn Christ, I’m excited to be sitting with him in our cozy, hidden, little home dreaming big dreams and sipping herbal wines.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Your herbal wines sound delicious! The “Revolutionaries Need Love Too” sounds particularly wonderful. I hope you two enjoy those!
    Also, I’m wondering-do you have any herb-growing tips for someone who kills every plant she touches? I would love to grow my own herbs to use in cooking, and my last attempt was a few years ago (I believe basil is what I tried) and it died. I would love to try again in the coming year, and would love any advice you are willing to give! (I live in Oklahoma, so the spring is fairly warm, and summers get up to triple digits)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Oh my goodness I feel your pain about killing plants. This was a rough growing year for me! I think basil hates humidity, so try to grow it early or late in the season (before frosts, because it hates cold too). And try to avoid planting in too rich soil.. Also, I’ve noticed that if you water it when there’s no direct sunlight, it’s less likely to get scorched.

      Some herbs, like yarrow and plantain, will cheerfully survive anything! They’re great for healing and they’re easy keepers! They love poor soil too, which is a huge help for us!

      Like

  2. Lavendre&Tyme says:

    Ah, I’ve missed your writing. These wines sound delicious! And I think I need to make my own Leave Me Alone.
    I hope your cozying close this season and loving each other.
    ~ Christina Elisha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      We are loving the wines! And definitely cozying close. I’m so glad you’re here with me still! My online hygge just isn’t the same with out you!

      Like

  3. Maria says:

    Oooh, ditto the sentiments on your Revolutionary wine! That sounds great! How’d it turn out?

    (merry Christmas late!)

    Maria :]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      It turned out so well! I think I’ll make a few more for Easter!

      Like

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