It's the season for festive drinks - with or without alcohol
•4 cups milk
•5 whole cloves
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•12 egg yolks
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•2 1/2 cups light rum
•4 cups light cream
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1.Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
2.In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
3.Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Eggless Egg Nog
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant French vanilla pudding
1 ½ quarts milk
2 ½ teaspoons rum flavored extract
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1.In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix with 2 cups of milk, following package directions; allow to chill for 5 minutes.
2.To the pudding stir in the rum flavoring and nutmeg, then slowly mix in the remaining 4 cups of milk until the mixture is a thick but drinkable consistency. Chill until ready to serve.
I remember my Dad bringing home Tom and Jerry's Hot Buttered Rum mixture and I would sneak spoonfuls of it. Emeril Lagasse has a wonderful l recipe for that wonderfully buttery mixture. Form it into two tablespoon balls and freeze it. The just add a ball of sweet goodness, a little rum and hot water to your glass or mug and then enjoy.
Hot buttered Rum
•1 stick unsalted butter, softened
•2 cups light brown sugar
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
•Pinch ground cloves
•Bottle dark rum
In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately.
Being of Swedish heritage, I had to add Glogg or mulled wine.
This can be made in the crockpot and I think it is always better warmed up the second day.
Be aware that this makes enough for a party!
Glogg or Mulled Wine
•2 (750 milliliter) bottles red wine
•2 ounces orange zest
•2 ounces cinnamon sticks
•20 whole cardamom seeds
•25 whole cloves
•1 pound blanched almonds
•1 pound raisins
•1 pound sugar cubes
•5 fluid ounces brandy
1.Pour wine into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Wrap orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves in cheesecloth, tie with kitchen string and put into pot. Let boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in almonds and raisins and continue to boil for 15 more minutes. Remove from heat.
2.Place a wire grill over the pot and cover with sugar cubes. Slowly pour on brandy, making sure to completely saturate the sugar. Light sugar with a match and let it flame. The sugar will melt and fall into the wine. Cover pot with lid to extinguish flame.
3.Stir and remove spice bag. Serve hot in cups with a few almonds and raisins.
Only a few more days left. Have you finished your shopping? I am finally done cheffing for my clients, so now it is time for me to shop. Have you left anything in the stores for me?
This is the time of year for gifts and giving. It is time to reflect on what our year has been like and how we can make the next year better. If you are reading this, the Mayans were wrong and we have many, many more years to enjoy.
Gift-giving is a meaningful practice in all cultures and most religions.
The Jewish celebrate the giving of gifts in Chanukah/Hanukkah celebrations. Originally gifts of Gelt (Yiddish money) were given, but because of the promixity to Chirstmas, gifts have become more acceptable.
Islam celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which ends the holy month of Ramadan. An important feature of Ramadan is zakaat, the giving of charity to honor Allah.
Kwanzaa celebrates the spiritual and social rejuvenation of oneself. Hand-made gifts are strongly encouraged. Gifts are given that relate to the Black heritage. These should help the person in the coming year.
Diwali is the five-day Hindu festival. Relatives and friends exchange food gifts. Everything is cleaned and the front doors are opened wide to let in Lakshmi which brings goodness, peace and prosperity for the coming year. Back doors are kept shut so that Akabai, the lazy sister who signifies poverty, will not sneak in the back door (I like really like Diwali!).
Christmas. It has become the most celebrated holiday in the world and is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions mingled together. The exchanging of presents is linked to the Magi's gifts to the baby Jesus.
I remember being a child and waking up before anyone. My heart would swell as I would sit with all the presents under the tree. I was always amazed that Santa had thought all of us to be so good. My parents would give to excess under that tree. Yes, each pair of underwear and socks were wrapped separately and there were many toys that had only cost 50 cents, but no matter what the cost, we had love under the tree.
As I reflect over the presents I have received I remember two stand out in my mind. When I was in fourth grade Santa Claus brought me two beautiful books. One was bound in red and the other in blue. They were Anderson and Grimm Fairy tales. I remember at the time thinking in disappointment of not getting the bicycle I had asked for (that came on Easter that year). But those books gave me so much, hours upon hours of taking me to other worlds, a land of make believe. I brought those books with me to college and continued to enjoy the stories within. I did lose those books in one of those many moves you make as a young adult. I have thought of and missed those friends many times.
The other gift I remember so well was waking up when I was 12 and the living room was filled with seven pairs of snow skis, seven pairs of ski boots, seven pairs of ski poles and seven ski sweaters. My skis were red and my ski sweater was the softest white knit with a great big blue snow flake on it. That Christmas we all got into the VW bus, drove to the snow and Dad began our lessons on how to ski. That present gave me years and years of enjoyment.
No matter how you celebrate the holidays or what gift you give do it with thought and love. Also, take a trip down your memory lane and share some of your precious memories with your family. That truly is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your loved ones.
When you come home from all that shopping or when you have family and friends over, I would like to share with you a few recipes for holiday drinks.
I grew up drinking eggnog not only at Christmas. We had chickens and a cow so milk and eggs were plentiful. I have included a recipe using eggs and one that is eggless. You can enjoy eggnog with or without the Rum.