Posted in Daily, Food, Stories Around the World

Egg-nog for Holidays

“The armored infantry was Santa Claus, the battle was out Christmas. What else for the elves to do on Christmas Eve but to let their hair down and drink a a little eggnog.” Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Being Christmas today, the night vigil and celebrations can be drawn to a close by the noon or evening “Christmas” dinner. Along with the regular stuffing of bird or meat, pies closed by pudding and cake; unless the dinner is graced with egg-nog, it will feel like something missing.

Historically also known as milk punch or egg-milk punch, egg-nog or eggnog is a rich dairy based beverage served chilled, sweetened of either alcoholic (brandy,rum,whisky or bourbon) or non-alcoholic variety. Starting with etymology, among the various versions; eggnog is said to be derived from an Old English word for strong beer. Another possibility states that it was derived from noggin, a word for a small cup that was first known to be used as 1588; whereas some attribute the name to Colonial America where colonists referred to thick drinks as grogs and eggnog was widely known as egg-and-grog.

Traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks; eggnog is primarily a Christmas time drink whose origins are still debated. By popular consensus, culinary historians believe that eggnog originated from the early medieval British drink known as posset. Made with hot milk, curdled with wine or ale and flavoured with spices; posset was often used as a cold and flu remedy during the Middle ages. Later on eggs were added to the recipe and monks were believed to enjoy posset of eggs and figs. Then on, various adaptations were made to the ingredients depending on the local availability, flavours and tastes of those times. With colonization, travel and cultural mixing; eggnog has gained widespread popularity becoming synonymous with the Christmas time cocktails, dinners and parties.

Eggnog is often homemade using milk, eggs, sugar and flavorings; served with cinnamon or nutmeg. Although often served chilled, on particularly cold days it’s served warm. Additionally eggnog flavouring may also be added to other beverages like coffee ( as an “eggnog latte” espresso), tea and also to dessert foods such as egg-custard puddings and even ice-cream.

Ode to Eggnog
(Author Unknown)

If you see a fat man, who’s jolly and cute,
wearing a beard and a red flannel suit;

And if he is chuckling and laughing away,
while flying around in a miniature sleigh;

With eight tiny reindeer to pull him along;
Then – let’s face it – Your eggnog’s too strong!!

Advertisements
Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Helping Hands

“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” Marcus Tullius Cicero

The difference between each person lies in their behaviour, outlook, attitude and approach to life. While collectively we can label one group “selfish” and the other group “kind”, the difference between both is well illustrated in the story below.

Chopsticks

A woman who had worked all her life to bring about good was granted one wish: “Before I die let me visit both hell and heaven.” Her wish was granted. She was whisked off to a great banqueting hall. The tables were piled high with delicious food and drink. Around the tables sat miserable, starving people as wretched as could be. “Why are they like this?” she asked the angel who accompanied her. “Look at their arms,” the angel replied. She looked and saw that attached to the people’s arms were long chopsticks secured above the elbow. Unable to bend their elbows, the people aimed the chopsticks at the food, missed every time and sat hungry, frustrated and miserable. “Indeed this is hell! Take me away from here!” She was then whisked off to heaven. Again she found herself in a great banqueting hall with tables piled high. Around the tables sat people laughing, contented, joyful. “No chopsticks I suppose,” she said. “Oh yes there are. Look – just as in hell they are long and attached above the elbow but look… here people have learnt to feed one another”.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm… As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others. Audrey Hepburn

One of the simplest things in life is to lend a hand. On some occasions we hesitate doing so without knowing the complete picture, for fear of the repercussions in the society and world, where we can held accountable even if innocent. On those instances, only our gut instincts can help us. Yet in other scenarios, we tend to be lazy and keep our hands buried in our pockets or under the blankets. Ironically we realize our mistakes only when we need help desperately. Helping hands doesn’t have to start big. Even small gestures like cleaning the room, helping an old lady at the grocer’s, giving up a seat in the bus for elders or pregnant mothers, mowing the lawn without being told to do so are all be simple acts to initiate the feel of being helpful. After all, There has to be a purpose of the creation of two hands.

“Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.” Martin Luther King Jr.