Fall is the time for porch parties, fires in the chiminea and cooking out under the stars!
I’ve prided myself on learning how to build a fire in my chiminea near the back porch without having to use lighter fluid to get it started because lighter fluid is yuck. I really don’t want it stored in my garage, and I really don’t want to smell the fumes, however short-lived, in my fire.
I feel kind of like the Girl Scout I never was. Do Girl Scouts learn to build fires? I don’t know, but it’s probably a skill everyone should have. You never know when you’re going to be stranded and need to stay warm. Forget this is the South. Pretend you are camping. Or without electricity for days at a time (that happens in hurricane season). Or just learn to build a fire so you can enjoy the ambiance on your back porch on a Friday night after a long week.
I use pinion wood. It smells SO GOOD. Why does no one make a pinion wood candle, I wonder? Probably because you can get the scent from the aforementioned fire in the fire pit on your back porch. The wood needs to be super dry. I stack it on its end, forming a “tent” with the logs. Inside the tent, I pile my kindling and my super-secret fire starter. OK, so my super-secret fire starter is a cardboard toilet paper tube stuffed tightly with lint from the dryer. Yes, really. It is an amazing fire starter. Thank you, Pinterest.
Then, I light it. Voila! It creates a beautiful fire for a cozy porch party.
While relaxing on the porch, you need something to sip.
This is a great fall beverage you can prepare ahead of time, so it’s ready to sip when you’re ready to sit.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider
1 liter pure unsweetened apple juice
2 cups pure unsweetened orange juice
1 liter unsweetened cranberry juice
1/2 cup sugar, stevia, honey or other sweetener (to taste)
3 whole cinnamon sticks
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Pour all juices into the crockery of the slow cooker. Stir in sweetener, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Serve with skewers of oranges and cranberries.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 166, Calories from Fat: 2, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 5 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 34 g, Protein: 1 g.
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