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Wassail! - Wassail! Wassail! Wassail! Why do we say three...
Wassail! Wassail! Wassail! Why do we say three "wassails"? On Twelfth Night, hack in the reign of England's Henry VII, the king's steward cried "wassail" three times as he entered bearing the steaming wassail bowl. The word is a combination of two old English words: "waes" • meaning "be" and "hal" meaning "well." Wassailing, an ancient form of toasting, dates back to the middle ages when, according to custom, the host would hand his Christmas guest a cup of spiced beer or ale with the greeting "Waes hal!" or literally "Be well!", and the guest, holding his tankard aloft, replied, "Drink in good health!" Wassailing was as much a custom in the monasteries as in laymen's houses and noblemen's castles in Chaucer's time. The term was later applied to the feasting and general revelries of the Christmas season, and particularly to the bowl of spiced beer or ale which was an important part of the celebrations. The custom, of the wassail bowl continued and was even extended. For example, the townsfolk of many small English hamlets-would go into the orchards and drink a "wassail" to the apple trees to assure their .future abundance. Thus it has become customary to. decorate the wassail bowl with apples. The wassail bowl makes an unusual and inexpeasive hot punch for holiday parties: each serving costs approximately thirteen cents. What a delightful way to ladle out cheer nftor an evening of Christmas cajoling, or to celebrate New Year's Eve! Wassail Bowl (Hot Spiced Beer) 12 small apples 1/2 teaspoon each, ginger 12 teaspoons brown sugar and nutmeg 1 cup sugar 1-1/2 cups orange juice 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice • 2 quarts beer or alf> Core apples and fill each with 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Place in baking pan and cover bottom with 1/8 inch water. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F.) 30 minutes, or until tender. Combine sugar and spices in a 4-quart saucepan. Add orange juice, cran- • berry juice and beer or ale. Heat, but do not boil, 15 minutes. To icrve, pour mixture into punch bowl and float baked apples on op. Yield: 12 servings. :

Clipped from
  1. Wellsville Daily Reporter,
  2. 15 Dec 1961, Fri,
  3. Page 8

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