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inSpirationS CHRISTMAS 2012

Crafty Ideas for small gifts

entertaining: garLiC appetiZerS How to have a garlic-themed cocktail party

Wine & Cheese Pairing VQA wines with local Artisan Cheeses

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www.theprogress.com


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contents

THE 2012 HOLIDAY INSPIRATIONS IS PUBLISHED BY THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, NOVEMBER 27, 2012

RAINY DAY CRAFTS ...................4-7 WINTER CONTAINERS ................8-9 MISTLETOE ROOTS......................10 GARLIC INSPIRATION ..................15 WINE & CHEESE ......................16-19 CHOCOLATE JOY....................20-21 ‘NOGGING OFF’ ...........................22

The Chilliwack

Progress 45860 Spadina Ave., Chilliwack, B.C V2P 6H9 604-702-5550 publisher@theprogress.com Publisher: Liz Lynch Sales: The Chilliwack Progress Sales Team Editor: Greg Knill Creative: The Chilliwack Progress Creative Team

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rainy day crafts

Crafty ways to beat the rainy day blues Jenna Hauck the progreSS If Susan Barclay Nichols had it her way, she would make pretty much everything. She already makes her own makeup, jewellery, lotion, shampoo, purses, clothes and more. “I’m passionate about crafting,” she says. For the past six years, she has been bringing her crafty ideas to the Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries and offering free classes to kids and teens. She much prefers giving handmade gifts rather than buying things for people. “Nothing is better than a homemade present,” she says. “It’s the idea that you’re thinking of the person and that you’ve tailored the gift to that person.” Barclay Nichols is offering up some ideas for inexpensive homemade gifts this year that can be Christmassy or not. These crafts can be made by kids, teens and adults, and are easy enough that anyone can make them.

shrinky dinks Yes, we’re stepping back into the

‘70s and ‘80s and making Shrinky Dinks. The great thing about Shrinky Dinks is that you can completely customize them specifically for one person, says Barclay Nichols. Whether it’s making a keychain and writing a message on the piece, or tracing your sports team’s logo onto it, the options are almost endless. You can use Shrinky Dinks to make a plethora of gifts, such as earrings, rings, charms, pendants, buttons, key chains, dog tags, zipper pulls, pins or as decoration (to add to cards or wrapping a gift, for example). MATERIALS: Shrinky Dink paper (aka shrink plastic) can be found locally at scrapbooking stores like Classic on Alexander, and the supplies for jewellery (earring hooks, metal rings, clasps, etc.) can be found at dollar

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stores or bead stores. Use permanent markers or pencil crayons for colouring. HOW TO MAKE IT: Using Shrinky Dink paper, you draw or trace, and then colour your art onto the plastic paper. Make sure to use permanent markers or pencil crayons (do not use crayons, paint or washable markers). Bake it in a 325-degree oven for up to three minutes and you’ve got a smaller, hard-plastic version of what you just created. TIP: If you want to make your creation into something that dangles (earrings, key chain, etc.) make sure to punch a hole in the Shrinky Dink paper using a hole punch before baking it.

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rainy day crafts

this holiday season jewellery Barclay Nichols has some fun ideas for

Christmas jewellery. You can make recycled earrings, bracelets, charm bracelets and more by using small Christmas ornaments as materials. Use old and/or spare ornaments that you’re not using on your tree or around your house. You can use ones that you already have, or you can find them in garage sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, or grandma’s closet. As long as they’re small and lightweight, they will work. Some ornaments you can use are: Christmas balls, lightbulb-shaped ornaments, and snowflakes. You can also make unique creations out of beads, simply by using a combination of different shaped and sized beads stacked one on top of the other to create things like Christmas trees, angels and snowmen. The beads and other supplies for jewellery (earring hooks, metal rings, clasps, etc.) can be found at dollar stores or bead stores.

bath salts By adding different colours

and fragrances to make it perfectly personalized, bath salts make a nice, relaxing gift for your mother, sister, aunt, grandma or other members of your family. MATERIALS: Epsom salts, food colouring, fragrance oils or essential oils, and baking soda and citric acid (for fizzy bath salts). All of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store or drug store. The citric acid can also be found at wine-making stores. HOW TO MAKE IT: Mix 100 grams (1/4 cup) of epsom salts into a bowl. Add 1-3 drops of food colouring and mix in. Add more food colouring or mix different colours together to get the desired colour. Add 1-3ml of essential oil or fragrance oil and mix well. For fizzy bath salts, add 2 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp of citric acid to your salts. Store in cellophane bags or glass containers. TIPS: Do not use plastic sandwich bags — they will destroy your scent within a few days. Do not use perfume in place of fragrance oils — the perfume reacts with other ingredients in the bath salts to create unpleasant odours.

CONTINUED PAGE 6

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rainy day crafts

Let your creative side shine ContinueD froM page 5

chocolates & candy Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s a great gift for almost anyone, and when you’ve made

your chocolates by hand, it’s even more appreciated. Barclay Nichols is offering up a few different ways to work with chocolate including making chocolate pretzels, chocolate bark, lollipops and tiger butter. INGREDIENTS: Use either white, milk, or semi-sweet chocolate wafers (aka melting chocolate) to make your treats. You can find the chocolate wafers in the bulk section at most grocery stores. Other suggested ingredients are nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, peanut butter and candy. MELTING IT: The chocolate should be melted slowly over low heat in a double-boiler on the stove, or in the microwave at low power. If you are using a microwave, heat the chocolate for about one to two minutes, stir, and then heat again as necessary. BEING CREATIVE WITH IT: 1) Chocolate bark: This tasty treat is basically a bar of chocolate with nuts, dried fruit or candy in it. Melt the chocolate as directed above, stir in your preferred add-ins, pour onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet or plate, and let cool in the fridge. Some suggestions for add-ins: nuts, chopped candy canes, cinnamon hearts, raisins, coconut, Rice Krispies, and dried fruit. 2) Tiger butter: It’s chocolate and peanut butter — rawr! For every one cup of melting chocolate, use about 1/2 cup of peanut butter. You can use chunky or smooth peanut butter, but do not use light peanut butter. Melt the chocolate as directed above, add peanut butter and mix well, pour onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet or plate, and let cool in the fridge. 3) Chocolate lollipops: Moulds to make lollipops and the lollipop sticks can be purchased at Dicken’s Sweets. After you make the lollipops and once they have cooled, turn them upside-down and push them out. Do not pull them out by the stick.

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rainy day crafts 4) Chocolate pretzels: Melt chocolate as directed above. Add pretzels, stir with a spatula, and add more pretzels if necessary. Dump the chocolatey pretzels onto a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet and spread them out so that they are touching each other as little as possible. Let cool in the fridge. TIPS: Never mix chocolate with water. Make sure your dishes and utensils are completely dry before using them to melt or stir chocolate. Do not heat chocolate at high temperatures as it can scorch eas-

ily. If you wish to add different flavours or colours to your white chocolate, use oil-based flavours (like the brand LorAnn) and powdered or oil-based colours. Do not use food colouring. Use wax paper, parchment paper, or flexible moulds to pour your chocolate onto or into so that you can easily remove the chocolate once it has hardened. For more information on these crafts, or to see a list of other artsy creations, check out Susan Barclay Nichols’ blog at www.swiftcraftymonkey. blogspot.com. In addition, teens can sign up for her craft sessions ‘How’s That Made?’. The classes take place every Thursday (except the second Thursday of the month) at the Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries. To resister for How’s That Made?, call the library at 604-792-1941.

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winter containers

Don’t let the winter darken your outdoors Brian Minter Special to The Progress Over the next two seasons, when the weather turns cooler and wetter with shorter hours of daylight, wouldn’t it be wonderful to brighten up your patio with some great winter colour? Enhancing our patios with colourful containers is easier than you may think. You just need a different strategy for winter. First: the containers. Terracotta in our climate is not the best for winter. Well fired, quality pots with a lacquer finish are usually fine, but most inexpensive clay absorbs moisture and is more susceptible to cracking and chipping in winter. Well fired ceramics, resin and quality plastic containers are fine. As a rule of thumb, the larger the container, the better the plants do in winter conditions, simply because of the larger soil mass. For a nicer look, try grouping the planters together and if you can, varying the heights. Soil is a key issue in winter. Open, porous, well drained soil is a must. Regular potting soils hold too much moisture that tends to rot roots. Your best

bet is to get a quality potting soil and add enough fine bark mulch so that the mulch equals a one-third portion. This is essentially a nursery mix that is ideal for all winter plants. Most hardy plants will thrive in containers over winter and with cooler temperatures will need minimal maintenance. They will, however, need to be kept moist, especially if the containers are under eaves. The main winter issue is the degree of cold temperatures. Hardy plants in winter containers will do nicely down to about -8°C. Beyond that they need protection. The easiest shelter is to simply create a protected area that is insulated properly to keep the containers out of severely cold winds and deep freeze conditions. On patio pots, wrap insulating materials, like the new N-Sulate cloth, around the pots. As soon as the worst of the cold is over, simply store these materials and your pot is good to go unless it gets severely cold again. Now, for the best winter container plants, here is a list of my favourites. Brian Minter shares his secrets on creating the perfect winter container.

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winter containers Focal points: • Irish yews • Red and yellow twigs, especially ‘Midwinter Fire’ bush dogwoods • Clumping bamboo • Contorted willows and hazelnuts Basic colour: • Evergreen euphorbias – ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ and ‘Glacier’ are particularly colourful • Colorful heucheras and heucherellas • Winter flowering heathers, especially the gold foliage varieties • Colorful conifers, like Rheingold cedars, ‘Gold Thread’ cypress and ‘Blue Star’ junipers • Broadleaved favourites: Heavenly bamboo, nandinas and Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’

Berries: • Wintergreen • Pyracantha • Lingonberries • Spill Overs: • Evergreen grasses (like Carex ‘Evergold’, ‘Silver Scepter’, ‘Ice Dance’ and Acorus ‘Ogon’) • Variegated ivy • Berried cotoneasters Winter flowers: • Winter violas and pansies work best • Mini cyclamen If you’ve never created your own winter container before, you’ll be surprised how easy it is and how attractive they look. There is so much beautiful evergreen foliage available today, even without flowers these containers can be stunning.

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mistletoe roots

Mistletoe roots run deep Chances are, holiday revelers will find themselves underneath the mistletoe at least once this holiday season. While they might know what to do when that time comes, they might not know the history of that plant above their heads. Especially sacred to Celtic Druids, mistletoe was believed to bestow life and fertility, while also protecting against poison and serving as an aphrodisiac. Mistletoe would later take on a more political meaning, as the ritual of cutting the mistletoe came to symbolize the emasculation of the old king by his successor. Nowadays, mistletoe is typically hung in doorways or entryways from one room to another. This tradition can also

trace itself back several centuries to the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. Throughout Europe, mistletoe was placed over doorways in the house as well as the stables as a means to preventing the entrance of witches. The tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe likely stems from the belief that mistletoe bestows fertility and is often associated with the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a period of merrymaking that pre-dated Christmas. In 18th century England, a young lady standing underneath the mistletoe could not refuse to be kissed. Once kissed, the kiss would signify deep romance or eternal friendship. History also suggests that mistletoe was a symbol of peace. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace. When standing underneath the mistletoe, enemies could declare a truce and spouses could end any marital turmoil with a kiss.

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garlic inspirations

an ode to all things garlicky By Jennifer Feinberg the progreSS Chilliwack tends to be a place where people like to produce their own garlic - or at least cook with it. From the backyard food gardeners who put their blue-ribbon garlic up for judging in the Chilliwack fair, to the founder of the Chilliwack Garlic Festival who believes in its bright future, garlic has been busy gaining fans over the years. I would guess a fair bit was planted in local gardens this fall, with varying cultivars from red Russians or Korean, to purple softneck or Persian stars. It’s also popular with a growing number of CSAs, or community supported agriculture operators. It’s growing in popularity and for good reason. Not only is it ridiculously healthy ingredient, said to lower the risk of heart disease and offer a tonic effect for some, it also adds flavour oomph to whatever you’re cooking. That sulphur odour magically disappears when it’s cooked slowly to a sweet, browned and yummy degree. The only caution is avoid scorching it, because that’s when it gains a bitter flavour. Here are two easy-peasy appy recipes to tantalize a garlic-lover’s tastebuds.

Marinated Citrus and Garlic Prawns two garlic cloves, minced splash of olive oil 1/8 c fresh lemon juice 1/8 c fresh orange juice 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 lb prawns 2 tbs of white wine salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste fresh parsley, finely chopped

Marinate prawns overnight in the remainder of ingredients on the list. The high acid content will start the cooking process of the delicate prawns, so only sauté them, in a pat of butter or olive oil, for a minute or two to gain pinkness, which indicates they are cooked.

Rich Roast Garlic Spread six heads of garlic extra virgin olive oil fresh thyme or rosemary leaves,

finely chopped salt and pepper

Slice off about a quarter of an inch of the tops of each garlic head. A splash of oil goes down on some aluminum foil, followed by the herbs and garlic. Wrap foil tightly around the herbs and garlic, and roast in oven at the same time as your main dish if you like, for 40 to 45 minutes at about 400 degrees. Check the colour. It should be a medium to dark golden brown. Let cool and serve with baguette slices and cranberry jelly spread.

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wine & cheese

Seasonally adjusted wine and cheese pairings By Jennifer Feinberg The Progress It helps to be ready to entertain when the holidays roll around. To have a few stellar vintages, that can be quickly and expertly paired with some local, artisanal cheeses, will put you that much further ahead. Kim Murphy, owner of the Sardis VQA Store has put together some wonderful recommendations for the Christmas table. In fact her entire store on Vedder Road is a like a one-stop shop for outstanding B.C. vintages and locally made Fraser Valley cheese, from Smits & Co.w Farm Cheese of Chilliwack and Farm House Cheeses of Agassiz. “The reason why I chose the Gray Monk 2011 Siegerrebe is that not only does it pair beautifully with the basil gouda from Smits & Co.w, but it’s also a beautiful wine to have with your turkey dinner.” In fact all of the grown-in-B.C. gems she picked seem to have that magical flexibility. They are all “holiday style wines,” she explained, single varietals, that tend to go with everything from the turkey, and ham, to the cranberries and stuffing. Murphy said she often features

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wine & cheese winemaker and owner is back in the saddle consulting, and the nephew is general manager, so it’s back to their roots. “Not only did it win gold medal at the B.C. Wine Awards, but it was also named Best White Wine in B.C. so we’re very lucky to still have it in stock.” One of her favourite after-work offerings is a wedge of gouda, a baguette and some slices of tart granny smith apple. “The apple will pick up the apple notes in the riesling.” Murphy was reminded of a trip to the Normandy region of France a few years back, when they explored sumptuous cheeses like the new offering, Lady Jane, from Farm House Cheeses of Agassiz. “The Lady Jane is like a big, soft brie, with quite a mushroomy element to it. So we’re going with big burgundy wines to go with it.” She opted for not just one but two wine selections to go with the Lady Jane, a white, the Poplar Grove

Continued page 18

Gray Monk Siegerrebe 2011 & Smits & Co.w Farm Cheese basil gouda.

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the siegerrebe grape, a cousin to gewurtztraminer at this time of year. “The sagey aroma and herbaceous flavours go really well with the whole Christmas dinner because of those same elements found in the food. “This Gray Monk wine also won a gold medal at the All Canadian Wine Awards, so it’s just a phenomenal choice.” The basil flecked gouda from the Lickman Road farm was a good match to the herbal elements in the wine. “It cuts through the gouda, and it does what a good food and wine pairing should do, which is to cleanse your palate so every residual taste is gone. The palate is fresh and clean for the next one.” Murphy can’t believe she still has Lang Farm Reserve Riesling 2008 on the shelves. “I would estimate these grapes are 35 years old. I predict the gouda will melt in your mouth with this riesling,” she said before a recent tasting, that confirmed her prediction. “Lang Vineyards was closed for a while. It was part of a conglomerate of wineries that were sold off when one of the owners went bankrupt. But now there are new owners in the house. Gunther Lang, the original

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wine & cheese

B.C. wine, local cheese: Continued from page 17 Chardonnay 2010, as well a red, the Church & State Hollenbach Family Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009. “You can just smell the butteriness of this chardonnay, and such nice pear aromas.” With a complementary taste and similar body and viscosity, it’s a great match. “It sits on the palate offering a long, lingering taste. It has good body.” The Pinot Noir was equally delicious with the cheese. “The mushroomy taste of the cheese pair beautifully with the pinot noir, which is sometimes described as having an earthy aroma. This pinot is just packed

Lang Vineyards Farm Reserve Riesling 2008 & Smits & Co.w cranberry gouda.

with flavour! There’s a deep, rich fruit on the nose, strong cherry, with a light to medium body.” The next pairing was just as exceptional. Murphy picked the Oak Bay Gamay Noir 2011 to go with the Farm House’s ‘La Pyramide’ ashripened goat milk cheese. “Not only is the gamay noir from Oak Bay beautiful in aroma when you first put it up to your nose, but my goodness look at the colour!” she said. It’s a deep, rich, ruby red. “The hue is so bright.” It’s a brand new vintage for the store from the St. Hubertus Estate Winery. “And why I chose this gamay to go with the ash-ripened cheese is because of the spice,” she said. “I am confident the peppery spice is going to complement the strong taste of the cheese.” Oh it did all right. Two flavour bombs going off in your mouth. “You don’t want to overpower the cheese with the wine either. I

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends and neighbours! We are getting ready at the community office to celebrate the season, with a week of fun events, beginning, Monday, December 17th.

You’re invited to our Christmas Open House Wednesday, December 19th. More details soon. Come join the fun as we celebrate this festive season of giving, hope and light ~ Chilliwack-Hope style! 11/12HI GOM27

Your Community Office:

Support. Advocate. Empower. Constituency Office:

#101A - 8615 Young Road Chilliwack, V2P 4P3

18 - Holiday Inspirations

Gwen O’Mahony

MLA Chilliwack-Hope

gwen.omahony.mla@leg.bc.ca

Phone: 604-702-9633

Poplar Grove Chardonnay 2010 and/or Church & State Hollenbach Family Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 & Farm House Cheeses ‘Lady Jane’.

think it’s a beautiful pairing. Again it has the palate cleansing effect, and the wine went so well with the richness of the cheese.”


wine & cheese

Matches made in heaven This was among her favourite pairings. “Although they really all were fantastic.” Last but not least was the Dirty Laundry Kay-Syrah 2010 with the Smits & Co(w) black pepper gouda. It was specially chosen to go with the biggest selling cheese in the store, the black pepper gouda. The black pepper in the cheese meets and melds nicely with the white pepper notes in the wine. “This syrah has got it all, even on the nose, and with a velvety texture, and a bit of chocolate and raspberry and that white pepper. With my first bite I noticed the wine taste was already in my mouth, but the

Oak Bay Gamay Noir 2011 & Farm House Cheeses ‘La Pyramide’ ash-ripened goat milk cheese.

11-12s MS27

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cheese didn’t seem to have that big spice that it sometimes does on its own. They both melt in your mouth together.” And there you have it. Keep in mind these ideas about serving the wine. Take the whites out of the fridge 20 minutes before you serve them, along with the cheeses. Put the reds in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Dirty Laundry Kay-Syrah 2010 & Smits & Co.w ‘Black Pepper Gouda.

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Holiday Inspirations - 19


chocolate joy

Chocolate packages are a labour of love By Jennifer Feinberg The Progress Doling out beautifully decorated packages of homemade chocolate, Linda Sexsmith is like the Martha Stewart of the local real estate world. The Chilliwack realtor loves to offer homemade Christmas-inspired sweets to the privileged few of her clients, family and friends on her list. It’s an enormous undertaking, but she loves it. “It’s something I’ve started and now I can’t stop because I have a number of people who have told me they totally look forward to it now every year,” she said. It all started with cherry chocolates, a bit of nostalgia from her childhood. “My mom used to make the cherry chocolates every year. It’s her recipe that I now use for the dough.” Sexsmith has been in real estate for more than 20 years, and that’s about when she first started handing out the heavenly chocolate dipped maraschinos. She would do up about a dozen packages of just the cherries at first. Then it grew up to a list of about 60 people. Now it’s easily

Every year, Linda Sexsmith hand makes chocolates to give out to people at Christmas time. JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

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20 - Holiday Inspirations

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chocolate joy double that number, and she’ll add 20 names or subtract them as need be. At a certain point she decided she had to expand her sweet horizons beyond the chocolate cherries. “That’s when I started making the almond bark.” The tally of supplies is incredible for the total of up to 125 Christmas chocolate packages she produces with love every year for the lucky few. She boxes 1000 cherry chocolates and 1000 peanut butter cups, many pounds of almond bark, as well as coffee and butterscotch flavoured chocolates. In all it takes several 10-lb bags of chocolate — milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate. She buys about 30 lbs of almonds, and lots of butter, icing sugar, corn syrup and sweet condensed milk. She knows her reputation has preceded her when she meets a prospective client who tells her: “I hear you hand out homemade chocolates...” Every year the packaging gets nicer and nicer, after she goes on the hunt for lovely ribbon and little boxes to add to the wow factor. “I like them to look pretty and elaborate.” It can be a daunting amount of work, but

she paces herself and gets well prepared. For her signature cherry chocolates, she drains the cherries, mixes a sweet dough, and then hand rolls each cherry into the dough, puts a toothpick in each, freezes them and then dips each one in melted chocolate. Sexsmith says she likes to start the

your Christmas For all nens and the Christmas a needs

extravaganza in November, by at least mid month, and wraps it all up toward the end of the month. The gorgeous packages get delivered personally, with cards, usually by the first week of December. “It’s something I think I will be doing until I die. It’s totally personal and I love it.”

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Holiday Inspirations - 21


‘nogging off’

raise a glass to eggnog The thick, spiced drink we know as eggnog has become synonymous with the holidays. It is so linked with the Christmas season that a person may be hard-pressed to find it sold in the supermarket any other time of the year. But eggnog wasn’t always the holiday beverage it has become. Eggnog is believed to have originated in 17th century Europe, primarily as a drink for the elite, since the ingredients in the beverage were hard to come by and thusly relegated to the very rich. Although there is little certainty to the origins of the name, the recipe for eggnog has essentially remained unchanged throughout the centuries. It consists of beaten eggs, cream or milk and sugar mixed with some sort of alcoholic spirit. The Old English were believed to mix it with wine, though once the

drink was brought to the New World, colonists substituted rum for the wine. Rum was readily available through tradesman running between the Americas and the Caribbean and therefore less expensive than another spirit. Other ingredients were also added to give it a customized flavor. However, the use of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves has become traditional flavors for the holiday brew. Although eggnog is widely enjoyed throughout the holiday season, in the past it was served at special events and social occasions. As a warmed beverage it can easily chase away winter’s chill. This is how it may have come to be enjoyed primarily during the holidays. Try your own homemade eggnog with this recipe, courtesy of Cooks.com.

Holiday Eggnog (Spirited) 1 dozen eggs 1 pound powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup vanilla

8 cups evaporated milk 3 cups water 1 quart spiced rum Nutmeg, to garnish

Beat eggs until light in color, gradually add sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk and water. Stir in rum (brandy, bourbon or rye may also be used). Cover the nog and ripen for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Stir again and serve sprinkled with nutmeg.

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22 - Holiday Inspirations


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Special Features - Holiday Inspirations  

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