Jeff’s Corner

Kathy and I are having a bit of a Tannenbaum crisis this year. We want to decorate our traditional tree, but we know our sweet little catten, Rio Frio, will destroy it. She gets the devil-in-the head and can’t help herself, and I can’t think of anything more beckoning than an indoor tree with lots of lights and shiny glass orbs hanging on it.

So, I want to share my favorite Christmas post from a few years ago so all of you can understand just how big a threat the little fur-ball really is. Here we go…

Jeff’s Corner 12-14-16

Ho, Ho, Ho, and a bottle of Grape Creek wine for everyone; let’s save the rum for later and butter it up a bit. Today is going to be more of a Christmas story than a wine story. Monday night, Kathy and I decorated our Christmas tree. It’s a live one, at least it was not too long ago.
I figure this is tree #63 for me; 37 with my little elf Kath. I have never spent December 25th without one, although a few have been a bit creative.

We have lots of ornaments, most of them from our youth and early years together. I remember some as long as I remember Christmas; and I remember my Mom telling me they were very special and very old when I was only 5 or 6. They are packed in old boxes, wrapped in yellow tissue paper, and hanging on our tree right now.

It’s the same with Kath, there’s one with a black and white photo of her dressed as Little-Bo-Peep when she was about five. She was every wolfs fantasy. One of these boxes has a set of a dozen or more thin wooden ornaments that were hand-painted by her Mom.

While we were trimming away, I went to the kitchen to roast some pecans. When I returned, Kathy had hung every one of those wooden ornaments, and the box they were in was closed. Inside it, on a piece of cut-out cardboard from her Mom, was a note in faded ink, “For your 1974 Xmas tree honey. Took me 2 weeks to paint them at nite, was fun, love you”.

Our traditions live in many ways, reflected in a glance, a memory, a photo, or a written note that echoes the voice of the loved one that penned it. Laughter and melancholy dance like a well-balanced wine.

Anyway, before we get too heavy, let’s get back to the hot-buttered rum I promised in the first paragraph. Here’s a very traditional recipe borrowed from my grandfathers “Playboys Guide to Cocktails and Bartending”. It’s really good, trust me!

2 oz dark rum (I like Meyers)
3 cloves, 3 allspice, and a 2” cinnamon stick
1 Tbs dark brown sugar and 1 Tbs real butter
Water that is just beginning to boil

In your favorite large coffee mug, cover the allspice, clove, and cinnamon with hot water and allow it to steep a few minutes. Warm the rum, but not too much. Add the rum, sugar, and butter with about 8oz hot water. Stir until the butter melts and enjoy. You can adjust the sugar and butter to taste.

Merry Ho Ho Ho