Wassail WeekendOne of my favorite events in Woodstock, Vermont is the Wassail Weekend. People come from far and wide to enjoy this special event. The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock. More than 50 horses and riders are dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th century.Wassail Parade At the end of the parade Santa Claus himself puts in an appearance.

Wassail Weekend

Photo credit: The Vermont Standard

 

Woodstock, Vermont is often voted as the prettiest town, and with the twinkling Christmas lights and the historic decorated homes it is easy to see why. There is something magical about the parade, watching the horses and hearing the clomp of hooves and the clinking of harness straps as they clatter down the streets lined with people.Wassail Parade

 

One of my favorites is the wagon pulled by three large draft horses. The two men sitting in the front with their top hats on and listening to the jingle of bells on the harnesses.Wassail Parade

 

Another favorite is the Icelandic ponies. These sturdy little ponies wearing their winter coats and the young riders all wearing their Icelandic sweaters!

Wassail Weekend

photo credit: The Vermont Standard

 

This year marked the 33rd anniversary of Wassail Weekend. The weekend has passed but mark your calendars for 2018. The Wassail Weekend takes place on the second weekend of December. There is a wide range of other activities to enjoy; from carol singing on the steps of the library to ornament making at Billing’s Farm There is something for everyone to enjoy. There is even a life-size gingerbread house at the Woodstock Inn.Wassail Parade

 

Although there are many activities going on during the Wassail Weekend my favorite will always be the parade. Where else but in Vermont can you watch little ponies dressed up in their Christmas finery? You may have to wait awhile until the next Wassail Weekend, in the meantime enjoy these photos from this year’s parade!Wassail Parade

It may be cold and snowy outside, at least where we live but it is a perfect time of year to enjoy this Christmas Ice Cream Cake. I was hoping to use Peppermint Stick Ice Cream but it seems to be getting harder and harder to find so instead I used Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and I have to say it was very good! This Christmas Ice Cream Cake is good enough for company and simple enough to make for a weekend treat. You can use any type of ice cream you want so the recipe is very versatile. The cake is made ahead of time and put in your freezer. Before serving unmold onto a plate, cover with your whipped topping and it’s ready to serve! It’s quick to put together taking only about 15 minutes or so!ice cream cake

 

Christmas Ice Cream Cake

 

Ingredients:

 

2 packages (10 oz. each) of individual cream filled chocolate cakes (Devil Dogs, Little Debbie Devil Cremes)

3 cups of ice cream, softened, I used mint chocolate chip

12 Oreo cookies, crushed and divided

2 cups of whipped topping, I used Cool Whip

 

Directions:

 

Line a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Place six chocolate cakes in the pan, completely covering the bottom.ice cream cake Spread ice cream over the cakes and sprinkles with half of the crushed Oreo crumbs. Press the remaining chocolate cakes on top. Cover and freeze for at least three hours.ice cream cake

 

Just before serving, remove from the freezer and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the pan and plastic wrap. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped topping.ice cream cake Sprinkle with the remaining cookie crumbs and serve. ice cream cakeServes 8-10 people depending on the size of the servings.ice cream cake

 

This Christmas Ice Cream Cake was the perfect dessert to serve our company. I was able to make it ahead of time and frost just before serving. It was a big hit.

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Broccoli SoupJust tried this broccoli soup recipe and it’s a winner. The recipe is an adaptation from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase. I’ve never had a failure with one of her recipes they are always so good. Adding mustard seeds to a soup was a new twist but they not only add a nice flavor but a little crunch as well. The flavor of this soup becomes more pronounced as the soup sits, so you may want to make the soup a day or so in advance.broccoli Soup

 

Broccoli Soup with Mustard Seeds

 

Ingredients:

 

6 Tbsp. butter

2 medium onions, diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large bunch of broccoli, trimmed and chopped

6 cups of homemade chicken broth

1 cup of whipping cream

¼ cup golden mustard seeds

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

 

Directions:

 

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and broccoli, cover with the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered until the vegetables are very tender, about 30-40 minutes.

 

Add the cream and use an emersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in the mustard seeds and Parmesan cheese.Broccoli Soup If the soup seems too thick you may add a little milk. Serve hot! Makes 6-8 servingsBroccoli Soup

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