Hey everyone!! It has truly been a great weekend. I have spent lots of time in my kitchen creating new things and that is what makes a great weekend for me. I love being in the kitchen with my family all year round, but around Christmastime it is extra special. I love playing Christmas music, drinking wine out of my Santa wineglass, and enjoying all the smells of whatever is cooking. It’s my happy place.
My mom made the suggestion to make Plantation Hot Grog for the blog, and I am so glad I took her advice! Moms are always right. When my parents worked at Nottoway Plantation, they would serve this hot grog to guests as they arrived for their candlelight tours of the beautiful antebellum home. My mom said guests loved being greeted with this warm, festive drink, but, the best part was the smell! Cinnamon, oranges and cloves….the whole place smelled like Christmas. Now that I’ve made this hot grog, I can account for that.
Plantation Hot Grog is like a warm, Christmas sangria. But white wine- nothing expensive. I used Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc. Any white wine will do, my mom says she used to buy Franzia boxed wine for this. Just don’t buy a sweet wine, use something dry like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay. Second, you will need apple juice or apply cider. I used “Simply Apple” apple juice. Next, my mom said to add a little sugar. I added 1/4 of a cup and I found it a little too sweet. So, add sugar according to your likeness. I probably could have not used sugar and been fine with the added sweetness from the apple juice. You will need oranges and lemons, as well. Freshly squeezed lemon juice will go in, as well as orange slices. Then, you add the spices- cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Let this lovely mixture simmer for about 20 minutes and get ready for your house to smell like a Southern Plantation home during Christmastime! This hot grog is perfect for a Christmas open house, or Christmas Eve get-together. Even if some people don’t drink, it creates an amazing aroma that will put a smile on all of your guests faces.
2 parts dry white wine
1 part apple juice or apple cider
sugar to taste
Fresh juice of 3 lemons
Spices: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, dash of grated nutmeg
Garnish: sliced oranges
Pour the wine, juice in pot. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, lemon juice. Simmer until sugar is dissolved into mixture.
Add spices (3-6 cinnamon sticks, 6-10 whole cloves, dash nutmeg). Add 4-6 orange slices. stir and simmer 15-25 minutes. Serve in clear mug with cinnamon stick.
While making the hot grog, I needed something to snack on. So, I pulled out a few goodies from my pantry by Chicken Scratch, LLC. My friend Casey Cheramie is the owner, and he is a caterer out of Galliano, LA. Every time my mom visits me she brings me some of his goodies because she knows I love them. I always keep a few things on hand because you can whip up something delicious and quick to bring with you to family gatherings, or just to snack on at home. He makes dip mixes, pepper jellies, desserts, tarts, custom cakes and desserts and SO much more. He sets up a booth at Reindeer Rowe, a shopping event in Thibodaux, every year right across from my mom’s Queeny’s booth. His booth is always the most hopping booth in the room! Everyone loves sampling his treats and buying them for the holidays.
I would say these goodies are a Christmas staple in my house. I used his Dill Dip Mix every year for Shelby’s birthday party- I plate it with smoked salmon. I haven’t tried to BBQ shrimp mix yet but I cannot wait! my Mom brought a walnut tart last weekend when she came to visit and it didn’t last 10 minutes. It was so delicious. The dip mixes either call for sour cream or mayonnaise, and the pepper jelly is delicious over cream cheese. So, just keep your fridge stocked with those things so when guests come over you can whip this up in no time. I love getting veggies to dip in the dip mixes. I use carrots, cherry tomatoes, and fresh broccoli. These nibbles are the perfect accompaniment to Plantation Hot Grog.
Pictured: Bacon Dip (mixes with sour cream), Sundried tomato basil dip (mixes with sour cream and mayo), fresh veggies
Here’s the website for more info on Chicken Scratch, LLC
Cream cheese with Crawfish Pepper jelly and crackers
I hope you guys try the Plantation Hot Grog. It is inexpensive and delicious and really made my home smell amazing. I loved hearing my mom tell the story of how they served it there. I grew up at Nottoway because my parents worked there my whole life, and I can’t explain the magical aura that is there during Christmastime. It is so beautifully decorated and truly feels like something out of a movie. Making this hot grog brought me back there. If you ever have the opportunity to visit there during Christmas- GO!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season. I know it can be stressful. But put the stress aside and spend time with loved ones in the kitchen. I promise it’s good for your soul.
xoxo- Cajun Queen