Christmas traditions span the globe and can be traced back for centuries from, Ye olde yule log to hot chocolate with marshmallows.
A few years ago my husband and I bought our own house, and I was eager to start up some fun holiday traditions for our family. I spent hours searching the internet for Christmas recipes and stumbled across scratch made eggnog. My husband loved the idea and so I made it. Followed the recipe to the letter… right down to the three cups of rum it called for. Not being terribly knowledgeable about spirits of an alcoholic nature, I did not realize that that amount of rum would singe a pirate’s nose hairs! One taste and my eyes watered and I could scarcely breath. My husband I still laugh about it. I doubled and then tripled and finally quadrupled the eggnog batch in an attempt to dilute the rum. I wound up with so much eggnog—which, by the way, turned out delicious, if a little stout—that I brought it to the big family dinner with my parents.
As a practical joke I looked coolly at my sixteen year old brother and said, “Tony, I made some homemade eggnog, would you like to try some?”
My mom, who had already tasted it added, “It has a little rum in it, but it’s fine if you have some.”
To this day my brother is leery of anything I invite him to taste.
Needless to say the Christmas Eggnog became an instant family tradition and I have since tempered the recipe and add 1to 3 tablespoons of rum for the entire batch. Below I have included the eggnog recipe as well as excepts from my Christmastide novels. Enjoy!
Now… tell me one of your Christmas traditions for the chance to be entered in a drawing for one of my books!
Melissa Lynne Blue
12 eggs, separated
6 cups milk
2 cups heavy thickened cream
1/2 cup rum (or 1-3 tablespoons if all you want is traditional flavor)
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
In a large bowl and using a mixer, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for about 10 minutes. Slowly add in the rum a little at a time. When bourbon and brandy have been added, allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for about 6 hours.
30 minutes before your guests arrive, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture. Stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream with a mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture.
Serve eggnog with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.
And to go with your eggnog, here are blurbs to a couple of my novels with a bit of Christmas cheer!
11th Hour Rose
U.S. Marshal David Langston never planned to fall in love again. A graduate of West Point and former General in the Confederate Army, he wants nothing more than to move west, leave memories of loss behind, and put his honed skills to work as a government Indian agent. But when women start turning up dead in Charleston, his plans must be delayed.
As the only daughter of the widowed town sheriff, Lillian Hudson has grown up around the law. With her father’s encouragement, she’s spent years educating herself as an attorney and assisting in his work. Local society, however, is not ready for a woman lawyer, and the infuriating Marshal Langston is at the forefront of her naysayers.
Lilly Hudson is a thorn in David’s side. Bossy… stubborn… she perpetually sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong. When the unthinkable happens and Lilly falls into a serial killer’s sights, she has no qualms about seizing the opportunity and using herself as bait to catch the murderer. Tormented by memories of his late wife, David will hear none of it and vows to stop at nothing to keep her safe. As the dire situation unfolds, the pair become unlikely friends and attraction flares despite their tendency to clash.
Will David see Lilly for the strong, capable woman she is before it’s too late? Or will hopes of finding his way to her loving arms be forever dashed by a madman on the loose?
Light To Valhalla
Charlotte Rawlings has been over the moon in love with her husband since the age of five. Such shouldn’t be a problem except that he is married to his military career not to her. When Alexander Rawlings, the Marquis Coverstone, suddenly returns home, intent upon making amends, the desire to realize her greatest dream and make their marriage more than “in name only” is a delicious temptation. However, she cannot help but doubt his intentions. For years the dowager marchioness has petitioned for her son’s discharge from service, and when a close family friend informs Charlotte that Alex will in fact be discharged if he doesn’t produce an heir, her suspicions are confirmed.
Wounded in battle and accused of murder, Alex, returns to London a half step ahead of raucous scandal and powerful enemies set on ruining him. When his wife is taken hostage and held for ransom, Alex knows past sins have caught up with him, and concern for his own safety falls by the wayside when he realizes Charlotte has become the target of his enemy’s revenge. Intent upon protecting his wife, Alex works to assuage her doubts and quickly realizes that he will not settle for simple surrender… he will only be satisfied once he wins her heart. But as rumors of infidelity and murder drag Alex and Charlotte into a dangerous mire their tenuous bond threatens to snap. Can the bonds of trust be renewed or will those intent upon revenge and destroying the young marquis succeed?