Welcome to the seventh stop of the Belles Holiday Wassailing Tour.
Lady Penelope Whittles
Lady Penelope Whittles and her neice, Lady Constance, from Under the Mistletoe would like to welcome you to their home for your next stop of food and drinks. The house is full with visiting guests including Miss Margaret Templeton, her younger sister Sophie, Frederick, Viscount Beacham, and Lord Digby Osgood.
To win a signed print copy of For All of Ever: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time (Book One), comment below with your favorite holiday song and the answer to be found at the last stop on the tour, Caroline Warfield’s blog.
What are the names of Catherine Wheatly’s brothers?
Miss Sophie Templeton
The sound of holiday music and singing is disrupted by the barking of a puppy let loose in the house.
“Margaret, please have your sister take her dog outside this instant,” Lady Whittles ordered. “With a house full of guests, this is no time to have an animal running astray inside.”
“Of course, Aunt Penelope,” Margaret replied. With wide eyes, she sees the pup scampering under the table laden with food in the dining room. Sophie is following close behind. She reaches her sister at the threshold of the room.
“Honestly, Margaret, It is not my fault,,” Sophie said all ready knowing she was in trouble.
“How in the world did Tulip get inside,” Margaret asks wondering how to catch the dog who’s head peeks out from beneath the table as though waiting for a tidbit to fall.
“She sneaked in when the footman brought in more firewood,” Sophie answered. “She is not hurting anyone and it is cold outside.
“Cold or not, Tulip needs to go back out to the barn. We are guests here, sweet pea. No sense upsetting Aunt Penelope after all her efforts to make this party a success.”
“You are never any fun anymore since you became all grown up,” Sophie pouts but her eyes suddenly begin to sparkle with merriment. “Hello, Freddy.”
“Allow me, Miss Templeton,” Lord Beacham says with a kind smile.
Impervious to his well-tailored breeches, Viscount Beacham proceeds to crawl under the table to take hold of a squirming Tulip. Once again, Frederick has saved the day.
Miss Margaret Templeton, along with her sister Sophie, Frederick, Viscount Beacham, Lord Digby Osgood, Lady Penelope Whittles and her niece Lady Constance Whittles are characters in Under the Mistletoe, in Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem
Miss Margaret Templeton & Frederick, Viscount Beacham
When Margaret Templeton is requested to act as hostess at Captain Sander Morledge’s Christmas party and possibly agree to marry him, she did not think she would see the man who once held her heart.
Frederick Maddock, Viscount Beacham had never forgotten the young woman he had fallen in love with, and his feelings are evident when he sees her at a holiday gathering.
In a swirl of Christmas miracles and joyous celebration, will the two finally put down their differences and once again fall in love?
Lord Digby Osgood & Lady Constance Whittles
Constance is delighted to witness the latest guest who was handing his coat and hat to the footman. She rushes to his side. “Lord Osgood, you are just in time. We are just now serving the Christmas Wassail.”
Digby gives her a short bow. “Your aunt was ever so gracious to invite me when we last met.”
“She did?” Constance looks towards her aunt who has a mischievous smile lit upon her face. Was her aunt playing the match maker?
Digby offers his arm. “Shall we, my lady?”
Constance gladly accepts Lord Osgood’s offer as they make their way to join the festivities.
Christmas Wassail Recipe
Originally published as Christmas Wassail in Country Woman December/January 2008, p22
• 3 medium McIntosh or Rome apples, halved and cored
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 gallons apple cider or juice, divided
• 2 medium navel oranges, halved and sliced
• 2 medium lemons, halved and sliced
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches), halved
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• Preheat oven to 375°. Place apples in an 8-in.-square baking dish, cut side down. Pour water around apples. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
• When cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp from apples and place in a blender; discard apple peel. Add 1/2 cup cider to blender; cover and process until smooth.
• In a stockpot, combine remaining ingredients, apple puree and remaining cider. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. If desired, discard citrus slices and cinnamon stick before serving.
• Freeze option: If making in advance, you can cover and freeze the uncooked pie for up to 3 months. To use the frozen pie, bake at 375 for 70 minutes. Yield: 42 servings (3/4 cup each).
Excerpt from Under the Mistletoe
She returned her attention to a portrait of a seventeenth-century woman. The artist had captured her to perfection, painting the gown in exquisite detail, so that Margaret felt she could almost reach out to feel the actual pale blue fabric of material.
“What a beauty,” a male voice whispered behind her.
Margaret’s face flushed. She knew that voice, and that tone. That familiar low timbre had teased her many times in their youth. “Yes, she is indeed. See how the painter caught her expression in her eyes,” she replied, trying to sound calm as her heart raced with his nearness. “I wonder what she was staring at that caused her smile.”
The man chuckled softly and leaned closer. She could have sworn she felt the heat of his body through the fabric of her redingote. “I was not talking about the painting, Margaret.”
Catching her breath hearing her given name pass his lips, she, at last, turned to face the man whose offer of marriage she had rejected.
“Good day, Lord Beacham. How good to see you again after all these many years.” Was that breathy voice really her own? She curtseyed and held out her gloved hand. He took it, bowing low, and she tried to remain calm even though her heart was beating wildly in her chest.
Lady Whittles nods to a servant and the next course of mince pies.
As served at the Christmas dinner of the Duke of Buckingham in 1808, with the expatriate French king, Louis XVIII.
Recipe from: A Complete System of Cookery, 4th Ed., by John Simpson, Cook to the late Marquis of Buckingham.
Seven pounds of currants, rubbed and picked very clean, and three pounds and a half of beef suet chopped very fine, three pounds and a half of the lean of a sirloin of beef minced raw, very fine, three pounds and a half of apples chopped very fine, (they should be the lemon pippin,) half a pound of citron cut in very small pieces, hall a pound of lemon peel, half a pound of orange peel cut like the citron, two pounds of fine moist sugar, one ounce of fine spice, (such as cloves, mace, nutmegs, and cinnamon, all pounded together and sifted), the rind of four lemons and four Seville oranges; all these to be rubbed together until well mixed; then put it into a deep pan, put over it one bottle of brandy, one of white wine, (of the sherry kind,) the juice of the lemons and oranges that have been grated, mix the wine and brandy together in a basin, and lemon and orange juice; pour half over and press it down tight with your hand, then add the other half, and let it remain at the top to soak in by degrees; cover it up. It should be made six weeks before it is wanted; the pans are sheeted with puff paste, and covered with the same. About ten minutes will bake them.
“You must try Aunt Penelope’s mead, Lord Beacham,” Margaret said handing him a crystal glass.
Frederick takes a sip. “Most delightful. My compliments to your aunt for her fine meal.”
To Make Mead
Recipe from: Martha Lloyd’s Household Book
To every gallon of water put 4 lbs of honey, and for 20 gallons add as follows: 2 oz of nutmeg, half an oz of mace, half an oz of cloves, 2 ozs of race-ginger, all just bruised, and sewed up in a linene bag; then add a large handful of sweet briar with the above, boil it all together for an hour, skimming it all the time it boils; then drain it off. Add a little balm to it, if it does not work, turn it and let it stand a day or two. Then add the juice of 6 good lemons, with the rind of them and your bag of spices in the barrel. Stop it up close for 10 or 12 months. Then bottle it for use. You may add some more spices if you like it.
With thanks to the Jane Austen Society (Please see link for an in-depth discussion of the recipe).
Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem: A Bluestocking Belles Collection In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.
***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***
Amazon | Smashwords | Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
Donate to the Malala Fund
Aunt Penelope wishes her guests a safe journey and happy Christmas as they travel to their last stop on this progressive dinner. Make sure you link back to all of the Belles’ holiday wassailing stops, where you’ll find a different Regency era Christmas carol, dinner selection, beverage, and wassail recipes.
Digital Christmas Card by EKDuncan using digital Christmas ornaments of Regency ladies