The libation: I hesitate to recommend wine, dear reader, solely on the basis of the consequences of Henry & Co’s bacchanal, but with proper supervision, mulled wine IS the best possible pairing for this wintry novel. Insulate yourself from the neverending winter that took such a toll on Richard with a mug or three this evening, wrapped in a cozy blanket in a warm room (ideally one with an intact roof).
Pour a bottle of red wine (err on the fruity side) into a small saucepan along with 4oz bourbon, 5 star anise pods, 5 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp sugar, and a good length of orange peel studded with cloves. Stir together over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the wine is warm through (but don’t let it boil!). Strain and serve in your hand-warmingest mug, garnished with a cinnamon stick. Maybe keep a sober friend around, just to make sure you don’t disappear off into the woods.
Does everyone have their copy of Grapes of Wrath ready to go for our 75th-anniversary re-read? Here’s team member Nicole, rocking a stylish vintage edition and enjoying a rare non-Arctic day on the NPR deck. We’re both just a few chapters in and marveling at the almost fantasy-novel-esque depiction of agricultural apocalypse.