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December 2006 Issue
Remembering Hallowe’en . . . preparing for Christmas . . .
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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It’s so sad. Hallowe’en is over. But, I’m in a new house in an entirely new neighbourhood (busy, hectic, Scarborough as opposed to sleepy little Alliston) and I must admit, some of the costumes were absolutely wonderful!!! We had Abraham Lincoln, jedi knights, clowns, puppies, bunnies, witches and warlocks, and I even made the acquaintance of Brynne, a beautiful monarch butterfly. When I asked, she was at great pains to tell me that Aunt Patsy (who was wearing a beautiful princess costume complete with tiara) had made her costume, NOT mom. She also informed me solemnly, that it was ok that we moved into the house where Bear lived, even if we didn’t have a dog of our own. She knew that Bear’s owners had bought a new house somewhere else. But she also took care to let me know that she would be coming over on Saturday to meet my cats. I got the distinct impression there was no two ways about it. Brynne is a very grown up five years old!!! I think I’m going to enjoy getting to know her. It’s definitely an interesting community!!! I can’t wait to get to know all the new people that surround me!!!

Even as we try to hide the spoils of trick or treat so we don’t dig into them, we begin the meteoric ascent into Christmas!!! Don’t tell me you don’t want to hear it . . . you KNOW it’s coming whether you want to hear about it or not!!!

The official count down (yes, there is one, check it out here) at this writing, says that there are thirty-nine shopping days till e-day (that’s Christmas Eve, in case you were wondering).

Are YOU ready??? I’m about half way done, and looking forward to relaxing while the rest of the world goes nuts. The big item this year was projected to be the new Tickle Me Elmo Extreme, and I don’t know whether it was the hype that did it, but true to predictions, we go into December with not a one to be found in any store no matter how much you’re willing to spend. It always amazes me how that happens. Thankfully, no one on my list was hoping for one.

So, for those evenings when you get home from a hard day of shopping, I’m reprising, this month, my recipe for home made egg nog. Make up a batch, spike it if you like, break out the shortbread and sip slowly. Allow the flavours to remind you about all the good things that this season brings with it especially the opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends. Time to recharge, unwind and remember what’s really important.

 

Egg Nog

  • 6 eggs, separated - set the yolks aside and beat the whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form, a good test of this is to turn the bowl upside down, if they’re stiff enough, they won’t move.

  • In a separate bowl, whip 500 ml of 35% (whipping cream) also until stiff now beat the egg yolks till light almost lemon coloured, then slowly add ¾ cup sugar, continuously beating until the mixture is almost white and so thick it coats the back of a spoon.

  • I do it in this order so that I’m not constantly washing the beaters, they can just go from one mixture to the next without fear of causing something not to whip up properly.

  • Stir a generous tablespoonful (or more if you like) of pure vanilla extract into the egg yolk mixture.

  • All three mixtures can now be folded together gently, you want them to become completely amalgamated, but you don’t want them to loose all the fluffiness from the air you whipped into them.

  • Add two cups of milk (preferably whole milk) and if you wish, it can be spiked at this point with one cup of dark rum, or you can leave it this way and spike it individually, make sure to sprinkle each serving with nutmeg, you’ll need to stir it well before serving because it will separate.
 

I usually make a double batch if I’m entertaining. It goes down smoothly and quickly. But, though it seems complicated, it’s really easy to put together, I can usually have it made and chilling between friends calling to say they’re on their way and their arrival.

Enjoy . . . and happy Christmas shopping!!!

I’d like to leave you with a few words of wisdom. Christmas is not a date, it’s a state of mind.

Sending you all the best of the holiday season, and warmest wishes for all your dreams to come true. If there’s any time of year that I truly believe that can happen, it’s now . . . at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas and TTFN



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