Merry Christmas everyone! Today is the eve of one of the most important days in the Christian Faith. Some say Easter is the most important, for it was the Day of our Redemption. However; had Christmas not happened, there would be no Easter. So it’s all a matter of perspective.
Fittingly enough today, Christmas Eve, is also National Eggnog Day. Are you a fan of Eggnog? It’s one of those Holiday Traditions that you either love or hate – there is no in-between when it comes to Eggnog. I happen to be a fan. I really don’t know why. With the exception of Kiddo, I’m the only one in my entire family that cannot wait for Eggnog to hit the shelves. While Kiddo looks forward to a glass of Eggnog, I think it’s really the booze that he enjoys. Just as I love escargot, yet I wonder if it’s simply a means to get all that butter and garlic in my mouth.
I am a firm believer that Holidays should be respected, that traditions serve a purpose and that we need to embrace our past while always looking to the future. The threads of the past are an important part of the tapestry of who we are as individuals, as a family, a community and a country. But that’s just my opinion, what do I know?
According to the Old Farmers Almanac, George Washington had a rather boozy recipe for Christmas Cheer. He wrote “One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/2 pint sherry —mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of 12 eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.” Personally, I like the last note – taste frequently. That’s one way to stay warm on a cold winter evening. Who knows, maybe George’s recipe can become a Christmas Eve tradition – make it tonight, drink it on New Years. Cheers!
George and Martha’s Boozy Eggnog
1 cup Bourbon
1/2 cup Sherry
1/2 cup Dark Rum
12 Eggs, separated
3/4 cup Sugar
1 qt (4 cups) Milk)
1 qt (4 cups) Heavy Cream
Nutmeg for garnish
Cinnamon for garnish
Pour bourbon, sherry and rum into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Let eggs warm to room temperature. Separate egg whites and yolks into separate large mixing bowls
With an electric mixer, whisk yolks until thickened. While whisking continuously, add sugar. Pour yolk mixture into the liquor mixture. Continue to whisk, add milk, then heavy cream. Set egg-yolk mixture aside.
Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add egg whites to yolk mixture, gently fold in
Cover and place at the back of the refrigerator for no less than five days.
Note: the alcohol will cure the raw eggs.
When ready to enjoy, pour into glasses. Garnish as desired with a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
If you have been celebrating Advent, then you know that after Midnight Mass, (or Christmas Morning for those not attending Mass) it will be time to light the 5th candle of our Advent wreath. In the center of the wreath is a White Candle. It is the light of Christ. It is the final candle to complete the glow of Advent. While the prayers are similar to those in each Sunday of Advent, the focus now is that Christ is among us and we invite him to dwell within us.
Leader: Lord God, Lamb of God
May the wreath and its light be a symbol
Of our eternal salvation.
Response: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
As the first Purple Candle of Hope is lit:
Leader: We place our hope in you, Oh Lord,
With hearts ready to receive you
Response: Now and forever. Amen.
As the second Purple Candle of Peace is lit
Leader: Let the earth receive her King
And be filled with His everlasting peace
Response: Now and forever. Amen.
As the Pink Candle of Joy is lit
Leader: Thanks be to you, Lord; God of all creation.
For our joyful heart that seeks You in all things
Response: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
As the last Purple Candle o Love is lit:
Leader: Rejoice, for God so loved the world
That He gave to us His only Begotten Son
Response: Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel
As the White Candle is lit:
Leader: Heavenly Father, we are blessed by Your love.
Grant us the grace to draw ever closer to you
Transform us, O Lord, into Your beacons of light
And send us out into the world as Your messengers of hope, peace, joy and everlasting love.
Response: Blessed be the name of the Lord