The Clove is the dried flower bud of a species of Evergreen tree. This rich, pungent spice is essential to Indian cooking and adds depth and flavor to rice and meat. It's also a key ingredient in cold weather beverages such as mulled wine, cider and chai. After the cloves have infused your dish with their flavor they should be strained or picked out, as they are not meant to be eaten whole. An old time remedy for a toothache is to tuck a clove into your mouth where it's numbing properties and antibacterial powers will help soothe and heal the tooth. An orange studded with whole cloves makes a classic holiday pomander ball which will fill your home with delightful scents while adding a decorative touch to your table. Clove has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years in India and China. Ayurvedic medicine used cloves for tooth decay and bad breath. In Chinese medicine, clove is known to possess aphrodisiac properties.
(Substitute red wine for apple cider if you'd like to make mulled wine for a wintery evening!)
2 Quarts Apple Cider
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Whole Cloves
1 Orange, Thinly Sliced.
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then divide among mugs and serve hot! If you prefer you may strain the cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.