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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Hot cider and survival via cooking projects

Blog: Random Acts of Deliciousness

Recipes and other delicious discoveries, served randomly.

Hot cider and survival via cooking projects

Lynley Jones

Hibiscus mulled cider, poetry and other survival skills

It is COLD. The temperature is currently 6 degrees. Six degrees! And on top of that, the wind is howling.


Today is not technically a snow day around here, but it might as well be. Too cold to go outside, and many of us have the day off* for MLK Day anyway. So it’s a good day for cooking projects and hot drinks and huddling together on the couch to binge-watch The Good Place or Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat or whatever floats your particular boat.

(*It’s also a day of service, of course. The kids and I are doing service today from inside our warm home, thank you very much, by gathering up some coats and canned goods to deliver - on a warmer day! - to a local food pantry.)

But anyhoo, back to the hot drinks:

This week I’m sharing the recipe for Hibiscus Mulled Cider we’ve been serving at the Adventure Kitchen Popup Shop in Montclair this winter. It’s a Latin/Caribbean-inspired twist on the classic mulled apple cider, with hibiscus flowers in there to brighten things up and keep you on your toes.

And I’ve also created a new collection of What to Cook on a Snow Day, with more hot drinks, hearty breakfasts, stick-to-your-ribs dinners, AND cooking projects for the snowbound.

Personally, I plan on making some chicken stock today in preparation for some new soup recipes I’m working on (squee!). And I’ll also make a big batch of Mexican-style pinto beans, some of which my family and I will gluttonously eat this evening, and the rest of which I’ll freeze for future use in something like this, this or this.

If you’re looking for more winter cooking inspiration, you can head over to the full Winter Recipes collection with 89+ recipes for wintertime cooking and eating.

And now, on with the show…

Hot and New:

Snow Day Cooking:

Cold Weather Cooking Projects:

Some ideas for cooking projects you can batch now, stash, and use later:

And finally on this blustery MLK Day, a few lines from two Mary Oliver poems keep blending together for me:

“…though the wind pried / with its stiff fingers / at the very foundations … It was already late / enough, and a wild night, / and the road full of fallen / branches and stones….”

“…Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?”

From my adventurous kitchen to yours,

Bundle up!

PS See “The Journey” and “The Summer Day” by American poet Mary Oliver who died this week.

PPS If you’re in the northern NJ area, our pop-up shop continues and it would be so fun so see you there in person! We’re in the historic Hampton House building in downtown Montclair (467 Bloomfield Ave.), open Thursdays-Sundays each week. You can shop our spices, have a hot cup of cider or hot chocolate, and check out growing Curious Cook’s Bookshop. And we can chat about what you’re cooking, or the lines of poetry you’re thinking about these days, or whatever we’re each binge-watching on Netflix. It’ll be fun! ;)