What does Christmas mean to me?
Well, it’s been a tradition that has carried over three decades in my home and not just with my immediate family but we would have an influx of 50-60 guests dining and partying the night away with us (aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, friends and so on.) Each year on Christmas Eve, just after dinner and a bevy of “Jamaican style” Christmas carols playing over the speakers then all of the kids would assemble on the living floor, all around the tree and my mother would then read a passage of her selection from the Holy Bible. I don’t know quite how she did it, but no matter how long or short the passage my mother would always finish at exactly 12:01am just in time for all of the kids to run like maniacs – ripping apart every gift in site! It was utter pandemonium and I loved every minute of it! At that point, while all of us (kids) would be in the living room playing with our toys and showing off new clothing all of the adults would slither out of the room into the dining room to really celebrate!
As I became an adult the reins were eventually passed to me and I gladly accepted them wholeheartedly. Till today, although the numbers have dwindled (considerably) we still manage to keep our traditions alive from vast dinners to gifting, bible verses, etc. and I’ve learned that no matter how large or small the group all that really matters is you are celebrating with the one’s you love and that truly love you! So be happy and thankful for all that you’ve had, all that you currently have and things that are yet to come in the New Year!
Keeping up with the spirit of giving I’ve decided to share the “adult” part of Christmas in my house with you, that is the DRANKS!!! So here a couple of my favorite Jamaican Christmas drink recipes:
(Makes approx. 10 cups)
2 ½ cups – Dried sorrel
3oz – Fresh grated ginger
5 Pimento seeds
2 cups – Sugar
2 – Tbsp Lemon Juice
10 cups – Boiling water
1 cup – White rum (preferable Wray & Nephew)
Directions: Combine dried sorrel, pimento and grated ginger. Add to boiling water. Refrigerate over night. Remove from refrigerator, and then strain contents into a large container. Add sugar, lemon juice and rum. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Serve over ice
GUINNESS (STOUT) PUNCH
1 pt – Guinness Stout
½ cup – Condensed Milk
1 ½ Milk or Evaporated milk (or my favorite 3 large scoops of vanilla ice cream)
1 tbpn – Nutmeg
1 tspn -Vanilla extract
Tip: stout has a strong and bitter after taste so you can add additional milk (condensed and regular to dilute if necessary).
What’s your greatest Christmas or holiday memory?
What’s your favorite holiday drink?
My true passion is not just in the science and creativity behind the ingredients of food making but is also in the sense of togetherness and community that food and libations bring to table!