Perhaps it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas, but this Saturday I saw my first Christmas display at my local Mega-Mart. I love Christmas as much as the next guy, in fact, maybe a bit more. But when Frank Sinatra is singing “Let it Snow” before northwest Arkansas has endured its first freeze? This is getting ridiculous.
Yes, it’s too early to early to begin this celebration of the most wonderful time of the year, but this display has me thinking. Is it too early to mull up a batch of Glühwein? If Glühwein is the secret sauce to Christmas, my mother’s childhood friend Karen is the patron saint of the holiday. I remember her standing in my grandparents’ kitchen. Karen makes us close our eyes tightly while she wraps spices in a muslin bag. “Family secret, ” she tells me and a few minutes later says I can open my eyes.
While sugar dissolves in water warming over the stove, Karen tells us, “it’s important to keep the water warm without bringing it to a boil.” She has two large bottles of burgundy table wine and she corks them. “If the water’s too hot, or if the wine boils, the alcohol evaporates, ” she says. “And what fun would that be?” Karen pours the wine into the water and I see it mix like a crimson cloud, swirling in the water. She drops cinnamon sticks in the mix, then the muslin bag and says, “now we wait.”
My mother is in the kitchen and she begs Karen for the recipe but Karen laughs, says she’ll take this recipe to her grave. “Not even for your best friend?” my mother asks.
Karen winks. “It’s proprietary, like the formula for Coca-Cola. Let’s go sing some carols, Susan, while the mixed-wine steeps.”
My grandparents passed on a few years ago, which means I’ve neither seen Karen nor tasted her spiced wine in some time. I walk by the spice aisle and consider dialing her number, asking her to give me just a hint or two. But some things are better left in Christmas past, I think. Some things are better left to simmer, and sweeten, and linger soft in the memory.
October Poetry Prompt: Do you have a particular wine or beer memory that lingers? Have you put words to it before? Try penning a poem about that memory and leave it with us in the comments. We might share it with the world! (Or at least the Twitter universe.)
Now, let’s get our creativity brewing!
Tweetspeak’s October Beer and Wine Prompt:
This month’s theme at Tweetspeak is beer and wine poetry, and we’re using words and phrases from beer and wine related products, articles, or musings as poetry prompts. We’d love you to join with us. How do you participate?
1. Grab a cold one or a bottle of wine, a magazine article relating to beer or wine, or your favorite short story touching on the subject.
2. Arrange a found poem containing words from the products. Make sure your poems touch on themes of beer or wine.
3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSCheers hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your found poem here in the comment box.
5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and ask the winner to record his or her poem to be featured in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
Now, let’s brew some creativity and see what we can uncork! Who’s first?
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In October we’re exploring the theme Wine and Beer.