The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 12
It is funny how we think of things in the past. It seems like our pictures of folks in history usually paints them as serious people, dealing with the serious business of just being alive in times less, ummm, civilized than our own. Maybe it is because our forebears tend to look so grave in those early portraits, maybe it is because we lack the imagination to see them as humans, just like ourselves finding their way through their own unprecedented times. I do love how that view sometimes gets turned on its head. For example, later in his life, Sir Isaac Newton, having discovered calculus, sorted gravity and retired from teaching, was appointed Master of the Royal Mint, a mostly ceremonial position. However, frustrated by counterfeiters, he took to disguising himself and hanging around taverns in order to catch and convict these treasonous fellows. Yeah, Sir Isaac Newton, in his later years, would dress up and go drinking in disguise in order to capture hardened criminals, for fun. So, keep your minds open and remember that folks then were much as folks are now as we stand and make Charles Dickens Punch.
The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 11
I have had hot chocolate out of these glasses a hundred times. They used to sit at the back of Grandma’s cupboard just waiting for one of the kids to slip them out for a treat. I had no idea what they were for, or why they had those guys in top hats on them instead of Tom the cat and his rodent nemesis, Jerry. What can I say, we did not grow up in the Midwest where the drink and these glass were everywhere, allegedly. So, let’s take a moment and try to learn a bit as we stand and make the classic Tom & Jerry.
I love Ginger Snaps. I love Gingerbread. I just love Ginger. To be fair, I love Mary-Ann more, but that is a different story. Ginger is seriously one of my favorite flavors and Gingerbread is one of the most perfect expressions of it. So, with all that said, you know what I hate? Gingerbread houses. They could make high quality tasty gingerbread strong enough to build with, but the folks behind big gingerbread never do and, in this day and time, I am not sure that is good enough. So, won’t you join me now as we stand and make a Gingerbread Snap.
It is all about the traditions of the season and one of my favorites is baking. There is little better than a day spent indoors baking cookies with the family as the chill wind blows outside. I always want to be one of those people who bakes all kinds of wonderful treats and then shares them with everyone I see. I also want to be the kind of person who remembers to make and send out Christmas cards on time. I fail more often than I succeed, but like they say, it’s the thought that counts. Still, I want to be that person and maybe if I believe hard enough, someday it will be true. So, with a nod toward those best laid paving stones to hell during this busy time of year, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Italian Cookie.
It’s not always easy to slow down and relax during the holidays. I know that everyone is supposed to be taking a little more time for friends and family, but it sure feels rushed, doesn’t it? There is so much to be done, decorating the house, getting the right gifts, going to holiday events, juggling schedules, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies, or at least feeling like we should be doing al those things. Folks have got a lot on their minds, not the least of which, is trying to figure out how to pay for it all. It can get hectic. So, in the spirit of giving ourselves a little gift, let’s take a moment for a short tropical escape as we stand and make Coconut Eggnog.
The lights twinkle on our tree, the mistletoe hangs in the kitchen doorway inviting mischief and our stockings are hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Monkey soon will be there. That is right, Christmas time is here, or at least it is in our house. Of course, that is mostly a function of geography and genealogy, that’s how traditions work. We tend to do and celebrate the things our parents did, like their parents before them and so on. That doesn’t make us right, but it does make us consistent. Of course, lots of other folks celebrate different holidays during this time of the year with their own traditions and that is awesome. It takes different strokes to move the world and there you have the facts of life. So, in celebration of this time of year and the wonderful diversity of celebrations, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Happy Huladays.
The season is upon us and since we are not stuck at home for the holidays this year I have been out enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, buying local. Seriously, I love getting stuff directly from the people who make it. We do the same thing with our business, buying as many supplies from local producers as we can. There are a ton of great reasons, like keeping money in your community, supporting the folks who support you and all that, but one of my favorite parts is making connections with other makers. So, with a nod toward being a better neighbor, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Dominicana.
They say the devil is in the details. He is also, apparently, on my kitchen counter. If my upbringing is to be believed, which it most assuredly, is not; the devil is everywhere, all the time. It is not always clear what he is doing. Some say he is out running or just around the corner waiting to trip you up, others claim he wants to make a deal for your soul, although this most often happens at a crossroads, allegedly. Details on whether those crossroads are metaphorical, allegorical or physical are decidedly fuzzy, although the Jackson, Mississippi Chamber of Commerce claims to have the answer and a bumper sticker to go with it. I have often heard that he’s fond of wagers and fiddle contests, but I don’t have much musical talent or a hickory stump, so I can’t confirm this for myself. The point is folks have a lot to say about the devil, but little sympathy for him. So, have some courtesy and some taste as we stand and make the devil’s own Dark and Smoky.
“If the real thing don’t do the trick, you better make up something quick.” Ann sang the words angrily, as she should have. Her righteous indignation was totally justified. When their reality did not seem racy enough, the promoter started a rumor about an incestuous affair between her and her sister, presumably because that would help sell records? Sure, it would get people talking, but still, it seems an odd tack to take. Whatever the motivation, you have to hand it to the Wilson sisters. When someone pisses me off, I get angry, I kick rocks, but I don’t go off and write a classic rock song that is still relevant 44 years later. That’s why I am here writing about drinks and not off somewhere cataloguing my vintage rug collection while my assistant polishes my gold records. I guess we all have our ways of dealing with things. So, in the spirit of doing something productive with your anger and avoiding sore toes, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Barracuda.
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” That’s why he was there, enduring hardship after hardship, while Mayzie jetted off to Palm Beach, leaving him holding the bag. Horton keeps his promise, despite ridicule, being captured and carried away, because he was being 100% faithful to a lazy bird who abandoned him and the future, embodied in an egg. Tell me that is not a story for the kids to learn from. It’s got it all, that Dr. Seuss was a clever fella. So, with a nod toward the past and an eye on the present, won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Mastadon.