Eggnog, Rumballs and Rudolph

Did you do this, too?

I’ll admit it. I sent out a flurry of “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” hybrid-type announcements: news, wishes and an invitation to a social media event.

No sales stuff, but not too much tinsel and sparkle either.

After I let the boys open a box from a friend tonight [ who ALWAYS wraps EVERYTHING] and found that nothing was wrapped, I was a bit deflated. Yes, it’s a theme gift. Yes, I’ll love it – I think, I made them stop unpacking after two items.

Christmas, holiday, seasonal or greetings can kind of be like that: you know what’s in the box before you open it.

So, I decided to wish you, instead, eggnog, rumballs and Rudolph. All three things you can only eat, drink or drive during the holidays.

Eggnog mentions got the most attention for me in the social holiday season.

In early November, a Facebook update about eggnog set off a heated discussion about when to start celebrating Christmas. In early December, I sent out a message about super strong coffee with eggnog creamer and whipped cream. People loved it – the status or eggnog? Here’s a recipe I found to share.

Chocolate Eggnog Recipe

Chocolate Eggnog Ingredients
8 eggs
3 cups chocolate milk
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup Kahlua liqueur (or delicious, freshly brewed strong coffee)
1 cup dark rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¾ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
pinch cinnamon, ground (as garnish)
pinch chocolate, grated (as garnish)

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, pour the milk and chocolate milk.
Heat the milks, but DO NOT BOIL.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar until they are well combined and of a reasonably thick consistency.
When the milk mixture is hot (but not boiling!), add approximately half of it to the bowl containing the beaten eggs and brown sugar.
Whisk well.
Pour all of the egg, sugar & milk mixture back into the large saucepan.
Reduce heat to low.
Slowly and gently, add in the Kahlua liqueur/ coffee, and then the cream.
Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon.
Remember not to ever allow the mixture to boil.
Remove the eggnog from the low heat.
Stir in the dark rum, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours).
To serve, ladle the eggnog into individual glasses, and garnish with a little grated chocolate or ground cinnamon.

Serves: 8.

Rumball Recipes

Note: I have not tested any of these. I don’t have my aunt’s recipe handy right now or I’d also share it with you. Making Hungarian nut roll is also a Christmas tradition for the Rozgonyi family.

Gingerbread hazlenut rum balls from The Washington Post

Emeril Lagasse Rum Balls from The Food Network

Chocolate Walnut Rum Balls from

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

A Christmas classic since 1964, this movie is one our family’s favorites.

The Shopping Tradition

Every family has one, don’t they?

Our family’s shopping tradition requires an annual trip to visit Macy’s [2009 State Street photo album], formerly Marshall Fields, on State Street in Chicago. Why?

When I was eight years old, my aunts brought me to Chicago from Danville on the train. I got to go again when I was 15. Chicago was so beautiful at Christmas that I wanted to be downtown for at least a day every year.

At Macy’s, each of one of our three picks out an ornament. This year the boys decided to choose one together: a large Asian ornament with a tassel. I got an owl – too much Hootsuite? Our daughter chose an rocking horse that needed to be repaired, which she did as soon as she got home. My husband got a moose. We’ve only had dinner at The Walnut Room once. After we made a wish, The Blue Fairy sprinkled every one of us with sparkle dust.

What are you wishing for in 2010?

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