Balls of holly.
Now I could stick with my norm and make my first holiday blog a tribute to ‘Christmas is a refurbished pagan holiday‘. But I won’t, because you should know that by now. And if you don’t, I didn’t really want to be friends anyway. So instead I’m going to belt out a poorly vocalized homage to living, loving, and most importantly – eating, like every day is a holiday. Besides, I never said this was my actual Christmas post. You better go take a class or something and start preparing for that one.
Anyways, Check it:
If you’re reserving ONE day a year to be thankful for your life and your family…
If you’re reserving ONE day to give your friends and family gifts to represent your affection or appreciation of them…
If you’re scraping pennies out of your bank account to acquire the biggest, most awesome, most useless presents…
If you’re ramming your shopping cart into people in order ‘to get there first’……
Guess what? You’re doing it wrong.
I love the holidays. I love the way they smell. I love waking up and brewing coffee and secretly seasoning it with spices so that when people drink it, they say things like “I don’t know why your coffee always tastes better than when I make it at home.” I love the wide-eyed looks on little kids when the Christmas tree gets lit up for the first time. I love trying extremely hard to not tell my boyfriend everything I’m getting him for Christmas, to the point where I’m pretty sure I’ll explode at the very seams of my existence if I have to keep it all a secret until the end of December. I also, and most importantly, love the obscene holiday decorations.
My problem with the holidays is that they’re really just some elaborate masochistic torture device to the majority of the holiday practicing populous. Sure, there’s totally people out there that don’t buy in to the greeting card company versions of the holidays.. but for the most part, we seem to think that the only way to “show her that you really care” is to take out a second mortgage to buy her that chincy necklace from the corner plot jewelry store at ‘__insert whimsical tree name__ Mall‘. We think the only way to let our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews, know that we love them is to stand in line for 18 hours to get whatever the flavor-of-the-year holiday gimmick toy is.
We get our mothers presents like sensible slippers, as if we never heard them swear at a gas station clerk. We get our fathers plaid sweaters and reading glasses marketed as being ‘for the smart father in your life this holiday season‘, as though we never witnessed him demand your mother ‘Get in here and look at this, would you? Have you ever seen something so gross?’. We get our sisters subscriptions to Ladies Home Journal as if they were not the people who sat in the tub with us and giggled at fart bubbles, and our brothers football jerseys..because of how athletic they were with all that playing of Madden 10 for xbox.
We sit around a table covered in murdered animals that the women-folk have spent days laboriously preparing to a state of required perfection, so that our menfolk can parade in – exhausted and slightly drunk from football watching – and devour everything after a slight, insignificant saying of ‘grace’ to the same God that just won the game for the other team.
We hope grampa doesn’t say anything embarrassing, that funny uncle Marvin finally has his shit together, and that cousin Lorna really did miss her flight because lord knows we’ve had a problem making eye contact with her ever since the operation and it never ceases to piss her off that grampa refuses to acknowledge her as the preferred pronoun these days.
I want a Paula Deen holiday season. Well. No. I want a Paula Deen holiday season that has mated with cast of Son’s of Anarchy. The kind where everything is photo-shop friendly (only real), the family hasn’t so much gathered because they have to, but because they’re just doing what they always do… stopping in to love each other. I want family laughing and drinking and taking un-posed family pictures. I want dirty jokes and confessional stories and I want a house the wreaks to high heaven of that amazing whiskey pecan pie that was made this morning… followed by the pumpkin one made this afternoon after the red wine and story telling condemned it to a fiery fate worse than death.
And lastly..I want faces feeling fuzzy from whatever it is that’s really in that eggnog.
What’s Really In This Eggnog? Eggnog
Things you might consider having on hand:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A functioning, unoccupied stove top
- Large metal pot (fer boilin’ in, ya’ll!)
- Strainer or a sieve
- Large bowl
- Large jug or other beverage container
- A wooden spoon
- A whisk
- Someone that is not you to clean up your mess and do your dishes.
What it takes:
- 4 cups soy milk
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 tsp teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups rum
- 1/8 cup brandy
- 4 cups light cream
- 2 teaspoons additional vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
What you do next:
Combine the milk, cloves, and single tsp vanilla in your boilin’ pot atop your lonely but functioning stove.
Turn heat to low and stir. The low heat is important. Think Liza Minelli and David Gest, Sexy Marriage of the Century kind of heat.
Stir at this scintillatingly low heat for 5 minutes, and then bring to boil.
In your large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffier than a guy named Esteban on the set of Saving Ryan’s Privates.
Then, add a small amount (let’s say 1/4 cup) of the boiling mixture of the
fluffer, er, fluffy egg/sugar mess. Whisk this frantically for a few seconds, allowing the eggs to rise in temperature so that they don’t scramble under the sudden heat of being combined with the boiled milk sauce.
Slowly pour the rest of the boiled milk sauce into the tempered eggs, then deposit into saucepan and return to stove top.
Heat goes up to medium, using your wooden spoon to stir constantly until the nog thickens. Don’t let the mixture boil…because that would be gross (again, remember the Minelli/Gest nuptials).
Strain your thick, still virgin nog over your mixing bowl to remove the cloves.
Next, stir in the booze, the cream, the vanilla, and the nutmeg until uniform. Pour into your jug/beverage container and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg for presentation pizzazz.
In closing, presented without comment, Jersey Shore ornaments.