Tag Archives: Christmas

Coquito: Puerto Rican Egg Nog (this one without eggs!)

22 Dec

2015-12-26 17.16.25In Puerto Rico, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is scraped off the plates, our collective thoughts turn to what we are going to eat for Christmas. But we are not just talking about Christmas Eve or Christmas day, oh no.We’re talking about every day for the next two months.

Recipes written by by late, great-aunt Titi Amida for my mother.

Recipes written by by late, great-aunt Titi Amida for my mother.

Christmas lasts from the day after Thanksgiving well into January, with the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day on January 6th, followed by octavas (the eight days after Three Kings Day) which are then followed by octavitas, which last for another eight days. And since we’re practically into February by then, you might as well keep celebrating until Valentine’s Day on the 14th….We have to do it this way, to give everyone who wants to have a Christmas party the opportunity. Twelve days of Christmas are just not enough to give everyone a turn at hosting.

Tasting in progress

Tasting in progress

That’s a lot of menu planning. We are helped by our Christmas songs, which are sometimes paeans to the birth of Jesus, but more often they are odes to the pig…that is.. lechón or spit-roasted suckling pig.

In small servings this homey cocktail can look quite elegant

In small servings this homey cocktail can look quite elegant

Some folks serve it on the rocks. I do like it a bit diluted. You could also top off with a bit more rum.

Some folks serve it on the rocks. I do like it a bit diluted. You could also top off with a bit more rum.

When it comes to beverages, the Queen of Christmas Toddies is coquito, a sweet and sometimes lethal combination of rum, cream of coconut, and condensed and evaporated milk in its more basic form, but which can also include egg yolks, different types of alcohol, more or less cinnamon, vanilla, and much more.

These bottles from IKEA look great for hostess gifts

These bottles from IKEA look great for hostess gifts

Today’s recipe (thank you to my former San Juan Star colleague Todd Michael Jamison for sending me the original that this is based on several years ago) is quite basic and contains no egg (in the recipes from my great-aunt Titi Amida in the images, she used loads of egg yolks, but she used to get farm-fresh eggs. Now most of us don’t have that kind of access). I like to make a big batch and portion out some into decorative bottles for gifts. When I actually serve, I add a bit more cinnamon and froth individual servings up with some ice in a cocktail shaker – coquito should be served really cold and the ice thins it a bit too, which I like. Continue reading

Advertisements

Help! Are Candy Houses Meant to Be Eaten?

18 Dec

Soooo, my little guy made a candy house at school this week (mostly on his own, as I was at work, but fortunately 1) he likes to work independently and 2) the other parents who were there kindly kept an eye on him and sent me pictures of the proceedings (Big thanks to Kerry, Kerri, Melissa, and Janice! Also to Fairy Godmother Mimma who picked up supplies for us).

Flat roof

Flat roof

My question is…once it is home, can you eat it? And are you supposed to refrigerate it? (The frosting is from a tin and the sides are made of graham crackers). Thanks to all who comment with some advice….architectural dessert projects of this nature are not my forte….

Happy Holidays!

Natalia

The Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans Continue….

16 Dec

The Elf on the Shelf antics continue. (for previous reports, click here)

Date Night with Snoopy. I found them asleep in front of the T.V. in the morning. He had the remote. Of course.

Date Night with Snoopy. I found them asleep in front of the T.V. in the morning. He had the remote. Of course.

An earlier date with Iron Man doesn't appear to have worked out.

An earlier date with Iron Man doesn’t appear to have worked out.

Our elf has been all over the map with her silliness (fortunately == or wisely == she has not chosen to be naughty like some other elves who are posting pictures of themselves on the internet in all kinds of compromising positions that will make it hard for them to find legitimate employment in the future should the Santa gig come to an abrupt end) and has been quite amusing.

Duck Dynasty!

Duck Dynasty!

Duck Dynasty…apparently those duck calls do work….
Teacher elf. She is bilingual as all the best elves are.

Teacher elf. She is bilingual, as all the best elves are.

Some tricks are fairly typical of the species (see fishing and snow angel), but others she likes to think are original. And certainly the raid on the crappy candy stash was a mistake she will regret, but we all have those in our closet.

Snow Elf Angel

Snow Elf Angel

Unfortunately for our elf and her generation, their mistakes get the full social media treatment whereas those of us from previous generations got to eff things up a bit less conspicuously….

The Elf succumbs to the pressures of constant travel and self-medicates.

The Elf succumbs to the pressures of constant travel and self-medicates.

We hope you are having fun in this run-up to the Christmas and New Years holidays. We certainly are!

Goldfishing

Goldfishing

Aerial dancer? Or cat burglar? You make the call

Aerial dancer? Or cat burglar? You make the call

Lucia: Our Elf on the Shelf Is Very Entertaining this Year!

5 Dec

Elf on the Shelf looks on the surface like yet another agent of torment for parents desperately trying to make it to Christmas in one gift-wrapped piece.Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Elf is proof positive that surveillance can be an effective deterrent (and that some of us really need to get a life — or a job that celebrates all this pent-up creative energy).

Rainbow looms are all the range with the kids. Lucia borrowed his and made him a ring!

Rainbow looms are all the range with the kids. Lucia borrowed his and made him a ring on her first day back!

The elf appears each morning of December somewhere in the house. At night he/she heads back up to the North Pole to report back to Santa on the behavior of the children in the house.

Different elves manifest different odd behaviors. Many appear in different places in the house each day, which clearly indicates to the kids that that little spy has been traveling to see the Big Guy with the Beard. Other elves get up to mischief — I have heard of elves who toiletpaper the kitchen, gift wrap the toilet, paint the faces of sleeping children and other pranks (Lucia would be heading to elf heaven in tiny little elf pieces if she tried that in my house).

Lucia took the stage like the star that she is.

Day 2 Lucia took the stage like the star that she is.

Last year our elf, Lucia, did very little except turn up in different parts of the house, usually legs on either side of something, like a pole dancer in need of some professional development.

Future's so bright....I gotta wear shades!

Day 3 Future’s so bright….I gotta wear shades!

This year, perhaps pressured by those other more interesting elves, Lucia has been playing dress-up. Each morning, my little man comes racing out of his bedroom to see what that crazy elf has been up to. And my darling son knows he’s being watched…he says sorry, excuse me, and please and thank you for EVERYTHING! I love that elf.

T-Rex takes a shine to our elf!

Day 4 T-Rex takes a shine to our elf!

So in a spate of non-food-related posts, I will be keeping you up to date on Lucia the Elf and her more entertaining costume changes.

(P.S. I have heard that now Hanukkah has Mensch on the Bench (who does he report to?). If you know about this, PLEASE share with us! And find out if he’s available. I have always wanted one of those!)

%d bloggers like this: