Homesickness can strike when at least expected. A few years ago we were travelling for a few months in India and Nepal. Just before christmas we spent a few days in wonderful Chitwan national park. Down at the river where you cross to the elephant centre, a German woman was running a small hotel/restaurant business. She had made her own glühwein and ginger biscuits which we ordered. I had one bite of my biscuit and the tears were steaming down my face. It tasted just like christmas at home and being so far away really made me miss home and my family!
This year we won’t be going home for christmas either so to comfort myself I have made plenty of ginger biscuits and warming glühwein. Here are the recipes!


1 litre bottle of red wine
75g sugar
1 tsp whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, slightly bashed
1 cinnamon stick
One orange, in slices

Pour wine into a saucepan and add remaining ingredients. Heat until nearly boiling. Let it stand for a while to let the flavours develop. Warm gently before serving.

Ginger biscuits

750 ml all purpose flour
½ tbsp baking powder
150 g butter
250 ml sugar
50 ml molasses
½ tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
100 ml water

In a large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl, cream butter, sugar and molasses until fluffy using a hand mixer. Mix in the spices and then the water. Add the flour mixture; combine on low-speed until a firm dough. Wrap the dough in plastic. Chill in the fridge for 24 hours.
Heat oven to 200-225°. Line baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.
Take a chunk of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough thinly. Cut into shapes then transfer to the baking sheets. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Let the biscuits cool on wire racks.
The biscuits can be kept in an airtight container for 1-2 months, or 3-6 months in the freezer.