A Feast to Warm Your Soul


As the trees lose their leaves and autumn slowly turns to winter, those first inklings of true cold can be daunting. What better way to stay warm and positive than a festive gathering centered around good food and drink? Here we offer culinary inspiration for the season: Spicebush Duck Legs from Marie Viljoen’s Forage, Harvest, Feast, to be coupled with hot, mulled Wassail from Jereme Zimmerman’s Brew Beer Like a Yeti.


Ingredients to serve 6–8

6 apples
1 teaspoon each freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or any other spices that suit your fancy
½ cup (125 ml) organic cane sugar or brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) water (or substitute hard cider, ginger beer, red wine, Madeira, port, mead, or what-have-you)
1 small lemon or orange
4 pints low-to-no-hopped ale, preferably British-style ale, spiced dark ale, or bragot



  • Core the apples and place them in a pot or deep baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the spices and sugar and pour the water or what-have-you over the apples.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon or orange (or both) over everything.
  • Place a pot on a medium-high burner, or put a baking dish into the oven at 350°F/180°C.Cook for about 45 minutes or until the apples are soft and mushy.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the apples to warm enough to carefully remove their skins.
  • Once the skins are removed, take a masher, large fork, or blender and blend everything (including the ale) into a puree (for the lambswool option; otherwise, remove the apples and make them into boozy applesauce).
  • Place the lambswool in a bowl with a serving spoon, or ladle it into individual mugs. Add as much additional dark rum, brandy, or other spirits as you desire; I like to keep this going for several days by continuing to add various drinks and spices to it and rewarming it.

Spicebush Duck Legs with Persimmons and Brandy

Ingredients to serve 4

4 whole duck legs (thigh and drumstick)
¼ teaspoon salt
¹⁄₃ cup (80 ml) Persimmon Brandy
1 teaspoon ground spicebush
2 large onions, quartered
12 bayberry leaves
8 very ripe native persimmons
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup (125 ml) water


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Trim any excess fat from the duck legs.
  • Sprinkle the salt all over the duck and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the duck legs
    to the pan and brown for a few minutes on each side.
  • Add the brandy and let it bubble for a few seconds.
  • Add all the other ingredients, place a lid on the saucepan, and
    reduce the heat to cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours.
  • Scoop off the melted fat.
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
  • Preheat the broiler. Place only the duck legs on a tray and roast
    them under the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes just to brown them.
  • Return them to their hot pan and serve at once.
Share This:

Recent Articles

Carrots, Turnips, Parsnips, and other Root Veggies

Hunger Moon-Inspired Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables

If you love to cook with fresh produce but happen to live in a climate where it’s nearly impossible to access during the winter months, we feel ya! Here in the northeast, chilling winds and heaps of snow make it hard to leave the house, let alone grow fresh produce, but that doesn’t mean we…

Read More

Recipe: Simple No-Knead Einkorn Bread

If you’ve ever suffered from a gluten allergy then you know how hard it can be to find bread products that won’t do serious damage to your digestive system. Luckily for you, we’ve found the perfect solution! Einkorn is a light bread with the lowest glycemic index meaning you can still enjoy all of the…

Read More
Wood-fired Pizza Oven

RECIPE: Winter Pizza Duo Using a Sourdough Starter

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s likely the last thing you want to do is entertain and cook. But if you’ve got a get-together coming up we’ve got an excellent way to cook for a crowd without having to do much at all. The secret is starting a sourdough culture ahead…

Read More

RECIPE: Soup of Independence and Remembrance

For most people, traditional foods and family recipes are often thought of in the simple terms of comfort foods or those dishes that only make an appearance at the holidays. However, for many, traditional foods are so much more than that. They are a gateway to health and wellness and offer an opportunity to reflect…

Read More

Homemade Bone Broth – A Healthy Diet Staple

Have you had your steaming hot bowl of bone broth today? If not, you might want to consider adding this nutrient-rich, immune system boosting elixir into your daily diet. Providing a healthy source of calcium, potassium, and protein, bone broth is the perfect dietary addition for anyone looking to improve their digestive health. And with…

Read More