May the Slanket be with you

slanketYes, this thing will make you look like a girly Star Wars cast member. It’s long, it’s drapey, and it will probably cause enough static cling to power the electricity of a high-rise building. But the Slanket — a new product constantly touted on QVC, the shopping channel — promises to be . . . warm. It’s a wearable blanket.

I just can’t get over how silly it sounds. Every time someone says “Slanket” on TV, I giggle mercilessly with my sister. This new, deluxe version of the network’s top-rated Original Slanket — the “wearable blanket.”

Yeah, I’ve heard of those before . . . warm; cover your body; tie in the front or back. . . aren’t they, like, robes?!

woman_slanket

I guess I shouldn’t really tease the Slanket — the Slanket could be awesome. It could be my constant companion when I sit in the drafty living room, trying to read a novel without my fingertips freezing off. It could be a gorgeous fabric addition to the couch, covering up stains and other wear that may (or may not) exist, particularly from my dog. It may also absorb Rudy’s pet hair and keep the carpet remotely clean as, it just over five feet tall, anything I wear will inevitably drag on the floor.

In short, the Slanket could change my life. And it’s gotten pretty favorable online reviews!

Christmas is coming . . .

Check out the wearable blanket love on QVC. The Slanket Deluxe will set you back about $27.

Update: it’s cold outside. And we need hot apple cider.

My dog is serious about playing ball! December, 2007

My dog is serious about playing ball! December, 2007

We knew it was coming, but it’s still a bit of a shock when it finally does.

It’s cold outside!

Not just a little cold . . . extremely cold. Bone-chilling cold. We even had a few snow flurries swirling around yesterday! I know that if you’re reading this from Buffalo, New York or Minnesota, you’re probably scoffing at our 35 degree temperatures in Maryland. But trust me, this is bad! Just last weekend I was still skipping around in sandals sans jacket. And now I’m pulling on my trusty red winter coat and boots.

We really don’t seem to get much in the way of the changing of seasons around here. It always feels like summer bleeds straight into winter. Fall is an explosion of color for a week or two, and then we’re chatting nervously about snowfall. Where are my 60-degree afternoons? My cool, comfortable breezes? It’s not fair.

On the bright side, I have to make some apple cider soon. I still haven’t made that fluffy hot chocolate — my dad tells me helpfully that I’ll just scald the milk —  but I have definite plans to do so.

This recipe is no joke (what the heck is an “allspice berry”?!), but I think I could come up with some sort of easy variation. Or just boil some water in the microwave and pour in an instant cider packet. Ha, whichever!

Hot Apple Cider

hot_apple_cider

Ingredients:
• 6 cups apple cider
• 1/4 cup real maple syrup
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 6 whole cloves
• 6 whole allspice berries
• 1 orange peel, cut into strips
• 1 lemon peel, cut into strips

Directions:

1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.