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A Summery Australian December and Spiced Cider Popsicles

It is well and truly summer now in Australia and how I love it!!! Yes, it’s been outrageously hot the last few days, but it always cools off beautifully in the evening, and mornings are absolute sunshiny perfection.

Yesterday I spent a wonderful afternoon in my veggie garden, basking in sunshine and gathering my first harvest of baby heirloom beets, radishes and swedes.

I was never much of a gardener, but now it seems part of me, awakening that earthy side that loves going barefoot and wearing sundresses whenever possible.

After a slow start my tomatoes are producing and I’m so happy!!! To me nothing quite says summer like ripe tomatoes still warm from the sun. I’ve been eating them like mad in salads with eggs and of course with big chunks of buffalo mozzarella.

As I prepare for Christmas I’ve been having fun altering beloved recipes to suit the piping hot climate I live in now.

Instead of fresh from the oven pies I make white chocolate cranberry tarts. Instead of lovely roasts and stews, I’m sticking to splendid sandwiches layered with delicious meats and slathered with caramelized onion spread. Rather than steaming cups of hot apple cider, I’ve been making apple cider popsicles spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise. They are so good!!

Have you ever spent Christmas in a hot place? What cold foods would make you feel holiday-ish?

Spiced Apple Cider Popsicles

Ingredients:

8 cups apple juice (fresh is best, but bottled works fine too)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4-6 cloves

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot or in saucepan over low heat.
  2. Simmer on low for 1-2 hours until juice has absorbed the taste of the spices and the house smells heavenly.
  3. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. When cool, pour into popsicle (ice block) molds and freeze 3-4 hours until solid.
  5. Remove from molds and bite, suck and lick your way through the appley goodness.
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Jeanne @ CookSister! - Hahaha – I spent ALL my Christmases in a hot place (South Africa) till I was 31 years old! So unlike you, I am still trying to get used to a *cold* Christmas lol! Absolutely love the popsicle idea, and of course the baby beets. Gorgeous!

Krista - Thank you, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus 🙂 I love them too. 🙂

Krista - I am trying to make it unique and special, @BethanyBassett:disqus 🙂 Last year I couldn’t wrap my head around it, but this year I’m getting excited. 🙂

Krista - They are definitely tentative, @71eb07213759ab4e5611e1dd9f1df8a7:disqus , but getting stronger all the time. 🙂 I’m realizing it’s totally OK for things to flop!! And that frees me up to experiment and figure things out as I go. 🙂

Krista - It was so yummy, @google-9c2cabc6737d76d3ba841e28d670a9c0:disqus 🙂 I got more juice this week so I could make another batch. 🙂

LindyLou Mac - What a clever idea for an ice lolly 🙂

Jamie - I love “watching'” your tentative footsteps in the garden and frankly it makes me wish I had one too. I love these cider popsicles! Love them! And I grew up in Florida and usually the weather at the holidays was cool but we have had years when it was hot. It isn’t really the same thing…

Bethany Bassett - Mmmm, I would never have thought of making apple cider popsicles! I feel like it takes a special kind of flexibility to rework Christmas tradition into a completely opposite season; while I don’t remember experiencing a white Christmas ever in my life, my mind still associates the holiday with cold. Major props to you for treating it like an adventure!

Joanne (eats well with others) - Those popsicles sound like the perfect use of cider!! Love it!

Krista - I hear ya, @facebook-500212569:disqus 🙂 I keep forgetting it’s Christmas!

Krista - Punches and shandies sound delectable, Ozoz! 🙂 I want to go to your house! 🙂

Krista - Gah! Forgot that bit didn’t I, Ayngelina! Will add it shortly. 🙂

Ayngelina - What no recipe? How do I make these popsicles?

Kitchen Butterfly - Yes, Christmas in a hot place is ….’Christmas in Nigeria’. I am thinking this Christmas, we will drown our thirst with punches and shandies. I love that it is ‘summer’ in December at Christmas.

Andi Perullo de Ledesma - I spent Xmas in Oz one year. It felt SO strange!!!

Krista - Your cold Christmas sounds so wonderful, @8cf970e92012658e9594670690ccec44:disqus 🙂 Hopefully one day you will come visit me in Australia and we can work in my garden together and you can eat whatever you like. 🙂

Zita - I’ve never spent Christmas in a hot place. I love warm weather but I don’t think I could spend Christmas in a hot place. For me Christmas means cold, snow, candles, warming, nutritious meals, baking. I’m jealous of your garden!

Krista - It is very important to have the people you love with you, isn’t it, Val? 🙂 xo

Krista - I would happily share my popsicles with you, @bcdeb9873aa58892d29aa565c71353f5:disqus 🙂 I have two left and got more apple juice today to brew more cider. 🙂

Krista - And I love reading about your ENGLISH life, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 Ohhh, you would LOVE the mangoes at the markets these days. So ripe you can smell them across the room. Delish!! I wish I could pop over to your house with a full basket of them. 🙂

Hila - In Perth, a lot of my friends have seafood lunches for Christmas, which is typically a hot day. It seems a bit silly to sweat through a hot lunch, as if we were in England! It is well and truly summer here in Perth too – it’s so humid today!! I could use one of your popsicles please.

bellini - I have never spent Christmas in a hot place but if I could get my whole family there I would. These apple cider popsicles are pure genius Krista.

Cathy - You know Krista that I grew up in Australia with hot Christmases and that it has taken me a while to get used to the northern hemisphere version. I’m loving your posts when you alter your recipes to suit the local environment. You are making me crave mango at the moment 😉

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