Apple Wassailing and the Celestial Kiss!
This is the first year of our Fuji Apple espalier tree, so I thought it would be fun to give it a little boost and treat it to a real Orchard Wassail Party!
Wassailing is an ancient tradition which involves singing and drinking to the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive. The purpose of wassailing is to awaken the cider in apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn. The first recorded mention of Orchard Wassailing was in Kent, England in 1585!
The ceremonies of each wassail vary from village to village in England, but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King or Queen sings the song to be sung from one orchard to the next; the wassail Queen is then lifted into the boughs of the tree where she places toast soaked in wassail as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year). Then a blessing is usually recited.
Our wassail ceremony was a little less complicated. What I really liked about it though, was that I was the Queen. Unfortunately, our tree is not big enough that I was lifted up into its branches, but we did bless our little tree with cider - so we'll see how it does next fall! It's had a little bit of a hard time this year. It got trans[planted, burnt by the sun, and chewed on by locusts. I think it's ok now, but I will need to continue to baby it.
It was awe-inspiring to be part of the historic event of the Celestial Kiss! As an amateur astronomer ( and a really good one at that) Robert was at the ready with the telescope -- and got a picture with his iPhone trained on the telescope lens that actually shows the rings of Saturn. Amazing! That was great fun.
And the dinner...we're just spoiled rotten. My youngest daughter's boyfriend is a chef, and he has made us so many gorgeous meals. Tonight's home made gnocchi was a standout!
However, the best gift of the season is that my whole family is together this Christmas. But I also want you to know how hard we have worked to be safe this season, to make sure that we can be together. Here's been our Covid protocol.
In order to be part of the Christmas pod, all of our daughters (3) and their partners are required to quarantine for 2 weeks -- no shopping, no work, nothing outside the house, before being in person this Christmas. And then, after the quarantine, all members must have a negative Covid test. Only after the negative test results come back do we allow members to become part of the pod, and that's why we feel comfortable joining together this holiday. So -- we've been very, very careful. And we are grateful to have the opportunity to be together.
It makes wassailing and star gazing that much more fun.