This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Thing To Do Today: mull.

It's jolly cold and crispy in my garret as I write this. I'm wearing woollen mittens, a scarf, and I'm wrapped in a blanket.

How artistic is that?

From time to time, to prevent pneumonia setting in, I make myself a hot drink, and when I can't face any more tea then I might make myself some mulled...well, apple juice, probably, as alcohol, oh-so-sadly, makes me ill.

As long as you put enough cinnamon in it, it still has quite a kick.

You can simmer any sort of spice or fruit in your drink to mull it. Some people add sugar, too, but a sliced whole orange, some cloves, and a cinnamon stick simmered in your wine-or-whatever for five minutes or so should do the trick.

(This mulled wine also seems to have peppercorns, cardamom pods and star anise in it.)

Of course you may prefer to do the other sort of mulling, which is thinking over a problem without expecting to coming up with a quick solution. In fact, when you mull over something your aim might well be to decide between the lesser of two evils, or the greater of two goods. It's a gentle, careful sort of thinking, looking in detail at every side of the argument. If you do make a decision, it'll be an unhurried one.

And, yes, mulling things over has fallen utterly and completely out of fashion, hasn't it.


Thing To Do Today: mull something. The word meaning to mix spices with a hot drink arrived in the 1600s, though no one's sure from where. The word meaning to think something over probably comes, most unfairly, from muddle.

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