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Holiday Open House

Come on in, Conflucians and PUMAs.  Let’s have a party.  Bring your dreidls and your mennorah, your glass ornaments and your tinsel, your holly and ivy, your uwole and libations.  Muslims can break out their Eid dishes if they feel so inclined even though they celebrated back in October.

What are we celebrating?  Well, I’m guessing that the winter solstice was a period of suspense for ancient peoples.  Would the sun come back?  What if it kept on going south and never returned?  The tiny, perceptible incremental lengthening of the day must have been a cause for a huge sigh of relief.  But there was still a long winter ahead.  Better fatten up and hang with your friends while you wait it out.

During this last year, we have certainly done a lot of fattening up.  I’m still working off the blog pounds.  But we have also made a lot of friends both here and at PUMAP.A.C., NO WE WON’T, and dozens of other pro-Hillary sites who knew a good thing when the saw it.  We were right but right doesn’t always mean we will be rewarded.  Still, it’s good to know that we have each other in the time ahead.  We’ll stick together and show the rest of the country the Morality of Good Citizenship.

So, come in out of the cold and dark, raise a cup and shout a merry “Wassail” and celebrate.

Rico is joining us for our party.  He made a Wassail in advance.  The recipe below serves 6 but with the magic of the internet, there seems to be plenty for everyone.   Here’s the recipe:

English Wassail

1 pint water
1 cup honey
4 cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
2 lemons thinly sliced
1 bottle medium dry red wine

Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]


Boil together water, honey, cloves and cinnamon for five minutes. Add two lemons thinly sliced and allow to stand for 7 or 8 minutes. Add a bottle of medium dry red wine and heat slowly until just below boiling point. pour into a jug and serve hot.

This recipe from CDKitchen for English Wassail serves/makes 6

Of course, you can have anything you like.  Florence brought a Reuben Dip.  I made some peppermint bark.  What did you bring?

56 Responses

  1. Merry Christmas Riverdaughter and happy holidays to everyone. Hope all of you are having a great day with the ones you love.

  2. Here’s the recipe for my favorite holiday beverage:

    In a shot glass mix tequila.

    Chase with beer

    Serves 1

  3. I brought some of my home made chocolate chip cookies and some of the candied walnuts my next door neighbor just dropped off.

    It will be many months before I burn off all of these calories, but I’m determined to be back in fighting form for 2009.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  4. myiq2xu, I’m drinking Baileys on the rocks. Nothing too complicated while I watch movies online. I recommend Four Christmases. I think anyone who likes Bad Santa would love Four Christmases.

  5. Merry Christmas, y’all. I’m here with a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

  6. Merry Christmas, chatblu! That sounds really good!

  7. Chrismas Cosmo’s

    1 shot grey goose vodka

    1/2 Grande Marnier Orange Liquor

    2 shots organic Pamegranate juice

    splash of 7Up

    pour into shaker with lime zest

    shake ttill bubbley

    pour into a large martini glass with a full slice of lime floating in it

    then raise your glass and toast “to blessing of the past year and the promise of the new”

    if you are in cold climes take….

    1 1/2 peppermint schnapps

    and pour into a steamimg cup of hot chocolat

    garnish with real dairy whipping cream and candy cane

    It is named in honor of our favorite Peanuts Character/womens sports enthusuiast:

    “Peppermint Pattie”

    cheers and merry christmas happy channakah and joyful Yule to all…..

    I count all my blessings and because they include all of you they are surely more numerous than the stars!

    Yours truely


  8. sorry shot peppermint schnapps-not 1 1/2 bottle oops!

  9. That wassail recipe sounds perfect for my Christmas cold. Thanks RD and Rico. I’ll add crab cakes and the movie “Babette’s Feast.”

  10. I shall retire tonight to A Christmas Carol staring Alistair Simms

  11. DV:

    I hate paying just to watch a movie, whether it be in a theater, online or a rental.

    I wait until Blockbuster sells their used DVDs and then I buy them for only a little more than the cost of a rental. The speed with which a movie goes from “New Arrivals” to “Used DVDs For Sale” and the mark-down price are good indicators of whether it’s even worth watching.

    If you have a sense of humor like mine (sick and twisted) then for New Years I recommend Four Rooms.

    It’s Quentin Tarantino’s version of Blame it on the Bellboy with an all star cast.

    If you have a normal sense of humor (or lack one completely) then you won’t enjoy it and will probably be disgusted.

  12. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! I have been almost single handedly finished a huge black forest cake from Winter Solstice night. Feeling a bit sad – I wish there was more…

  13. Fuzzy:

    That’s the only version worth watching. Same for the original Miracle on 34th Street.

  14. My own original recipe for Drunken Pumpkin pie with a sweet pie crust . If you use prepared pie crust just sprinkle sugar white or brown on top .
    This is almost the standard recipe for Pumpkin Pie but the Amoretto makes it divine 🙂

    2 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
    11/2 cups white sugar
    2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    4 lge eggs
    1 (30) ounce) can LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin or any kind you choose or even fresh if you want to do it !
    1 (12 fluid ounce) can Evaporated Milk
    41/2 oz heavy cream
    4 1/2oz non alcoholic egg nog
    1 oz Disaronno Amaretto
    2 oz honey

    MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger , cloves and nutmeg in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and liquid ingredients

    Pour into pie shells

    Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack

    And a no cook appetizer that I love but it isnt mine .. but its so easy and I love it

    1 can Smoked Oysters, drained and chopped or pureed
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    dash of garlic salt

    Mix all ingredients except smoked oysters just until blended. Place mixture on wax paper and spread forming a rectangle, about 6″x4″. Spread oysters in the center, lengthwise. Fold cream cheese over oysters and seal ends. Wrap wax paper over the oyster roll and twist ends to secure. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove wax paper before serving. Cover with chives or toasted almonds if desired.

    Slice and serve with crackers.

  15. Merry Christmas, all, and happy indulgence! Whether it’s a movie, a drink, or Swannie’s pie recipe which looks fab..

    We’re sick of food after the last night’s traditional seafood snarf but will have a handmade gelato tasting this afternoon.

    From the Capogiro gelato website, here are the flavors:

    Pure King Leo Stracciatella – A gelato with a pedigree. Royalty no less. Hot house Swiss mint from Lansdale, Pennsylvania infused and blended to make our mint gelato. As the gelato pours from our batch freezer we mix in dark chocolate and crushed Pure King Leo peppermints.

    Mandarancia Sorbetto – Sweet little clementines. History states that the Clementine is was an accidental hybrid discovered by Father Clement Rodier in the garden of his orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria. Regardless of its virtuous past, this succulent fruit is more delicious if juiced moments before freezing. So that’s how we do it.

    New Orleans Nog – Our Egg Nog gelato spiked with legendary New Orleans Southern Comfort. Did you know that SoCo came from the Big Easy? Didn’t think so…

    Cioccolato Scuro – No holiday would be festive without the loudest relative making a scene. Cioccolato Scuro is that loudest relative. Enjoy!!

    Melograno – Tart, fresh and red. It is a winter wonder.

    Pecan – You have to have nuts. We are all nuts.

    Hitting the treadmill now-damage control!


  16. actually, when the Romans decided to create Christian Doctrine they borrowed the birthdate of the bull god Mithros. Mithros was brought from Persia by Roman soldiers and had quite a cult following at the time. December 25th was Mithros birthday, so the newly minted roman catholic church adopted his birthday once they had decided on christianity as a way they were going to indotrinate the slaves and the recently captured pagan areas. Much the way Christians celebrate Sunday instead of the traditional Sabbath on Saturday … it’s because Constantine continued to be a high priest of the Sungod and never converted to Christianity, but probably got a good laugh out of knowing every christian was celebrating the holy day of the sun god with him …

    The Romans were quite the adopt and revise group.

  17. A big old country ham. We didn’t have a big dinner last night because my son STILL wasn’t in thanks to the weekend’s storms in Portland. His plane came in around 11pm last night, he and my husband stayed up in the city, and should be HOME in an hour. So the Christmas Eve dinner will be tonight. And if I hear “MOM! MOM! IT’S THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE!” from my adorable toddlers one more time I may pour a cup of that wassail well before noon. : )

  18. one short note: Muslims have two Eids, the second one is on 9th of December

  19. actually, Americans could learn a lot from the Roman Empire … we just try to go into countries and turn them into minature USs…. romans were great, they’d get in there and just slowly transmute the native beliefs into the holy roman church… much sneakier and much more effective …

  20. and New Orleans invented the ‘cocktail’ as well as being the home of SoCo…

    we also brought coffee to the US and invented poker …

  21. and ot: Harold Pinter died …

  22. I bring my great-grandmother’s sugar cookies. The recipe is over 100 years old and my grandmother had to figure out what temperature was a medium hot oven when she and Grandpa moved into town and she began using a gas stove. She determined that it was 350 and a smidge and we’ve been baking them at that temperature since 1950
    I have never even tried to figure out how may calories because I don’t want to know. They are the best sugar cookies ever and a Holiday indulgence that we have no intention of discontinuing. Why torture ourselves with knowing how bad they are for us?

  23. Merry Christmas, all Pumas and other assorted people of good faith and intelligent bearing.

    I am not a Christian, but the man known as Jesus had a bunch of good ideas, would that we weak humans were capable of following them better.

    May the coming year be one of good cheer, a recovering economy, and lifting of the veil over people’s eyes.

    I have little hope for the last one, but maybe the first two.

  24. We are munching on Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies that the Kid made from a Southern Living recipe. Delicious. She appears to be indulging in a Kentucky bourbon tour, having done Makers yesterday upon arrival, Pappy van Winkle last night, and Blanton’s today. Moderate amounts only, since we are getting ready to vist my teetoaler 85-year old father.

    Dinner will be a simple ravioli, hearty salad, garlic bread, and the gingerbread trifle. Party tonight at a good friend’s house with lots of traditional & bluegrass musicians.

  25. I’m making chile colorado

  26. The hardest part about cooking with a crock pot is the waiting.

    It smells sooo good but if I keep sampling it by the time it’s done it will be gone.

  27. Merry Christmas, feliz navidad, joyeux Noel, happy Hanukkah, joyous Day Off, to my wonderful fellow Conflucians. I come bearing champagne, o.j., and grenadine – the makings of our traditional Mimosa drink (funny that, it’s the name of our street now). My husband made Beef Wellington last night, using bleu cheese instead of liver pate (which isn’t available in these here parts) and it was outstanding. Our neighbor guests all but licked their plates. Thank heaven I’m married to a guy who’s a terrific amateur chef. We’re headed for San Antonio in a few, to walk around until the Christmas lights come on along the River Walk. A quiet day, but that’s just fine.

  28. Bad Santa is on Comedy Central!!!!

  29. I just finished watching White Christmas on ABC Family.

  30. Well said.

    I gained 20 pounds in the last several months and am with family in San Francisco. The sun is shining on Christmas Day although there was a loud thunderstorm last night.

  31. I am blessed … I dont have to go anywhere or do anything now…. until tomorrow … I can put my feet up and sip wine and hang out in loungey clothes ….listen to music …watch the birds and squirrels , read or WHATEVER
    woohoooo I dont even have to leave the house except to feed the birds and squirrels …………..
    scuse me I have to lift my arm to swipe a cracker thru the cream cheese and oyster roll and lift a glass of some sweet wine to YOU ALL

  32. ahhh White Christmas I thought the new version in color version was great .. and my my my can’t they DANCE???

  33. myiq2xu,

    I know it’s getting near the end of the holiday when I stop tearing up when Dean Jagger sees all of the guys who’ve come to honor him at the end of the movie. It takes a good 4-5 viewings a year to get me there.
    I’m watching figure skating. I’ll catch Bad Santa later.

    No alcohol today but I had a lovely margarita on the rocks last night. I might have a glass of wine with my crab cakes in a couple of hours.

    I want some of chatblu red velvet cake!

  34. chatblu’s, that is.

  35. Vera Ellen was a hottie (and the cuter sister)

    Too bad anorexia ruined her career.

    That’s a disease caused by sexism by the way.

  36. Can someone post PUMA PAM’s Christmas JELLO recipe if it’s available.

  37. New thread up, just for Fuzzybear

  38. JeanLouise:

    Great military leaders are both tactically proficient and inspiring. It’s not enough to plan a battle, you have to get your troops to execute that plan.

    I think Band of Brothers captures the bond between soldiers better than any other movie or mini-series.

  39. my,
    I have to say that it took a little of my enjoyment away from the movie when I learned the lovely Vera-Ellen was anorectic. I find myself looking for signs of malnutrition. I wish she had done what Ann Miller did and said, eff it, I’m having a ham sandwich.

  40. For someone who’s never been in the military, Tom Hanks sure seems to get it.

  41. JL:

    I read that the guys who really were at Omaha Beach said that the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan was about as close to reality as any movie could ever be.

  42. We were right but right doesn’t always mean we will be rewarded.

    It must suck right now for the netroots to throw their support to Obama so hard and be slapped in the face like this.

    Happy Holidays, PUMAs.

  43. DD:

    It would suck, if they weren’t so deep in denial.

    Most of them still think they’re getting a pony.

  44. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

  45. Same to you afrocity! I’m about to put together some English Wassail. Cheers!

  46. Happy Times for All. My family recipe is a super moist spicy applesauce cake filled with raisins and pecans. We are having a nice warm sunny Day in Southside VA.

  47. I am cooking a duck. Just finished my cranberry/ginger trifle

  48. I wonder…. Michelle Obama proud of her country yet? Did she let the kids have presents today? Is she suffering from Reverend Wright withdrawal?

  49. Well, I’m spending Christmas alone. Not that my family is Christian or anything… All these booze recipes – and I don’t even drink. (I know, a Russian who doesn’t drink alcohol? What’s that all about?)

    I spent Christmas eve listening to Abba (I downloaded their complete albums from Amazon – it was on sale as a set.) Today I’m spending the day watching “Firefly” on Blu-ray. One of the great TV shows of all time!

  50. I brought a bottle of Château Gruaud Larose 2004. It’s a Bordeaux from St.-Julien. I also have Frenched rack of lamb, sweet potatoes, green beans and later I’m making a pear galette. We also have a baguette and some cheese–pardon, fromage.

  51. We used to sing wassailing carols when I was a child.

    Wassail, wassail all over the town
    Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
    Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
    With our wassailing bowl we’ll sing to thee.

  52. My favorite old family recipe is “Old English Date Pie.” It was passed down in my grandmother’s family. It’s really easy to make and rich and delicious, topped with toasted coconut.

  53. Here’s a nice wassail recipe I use:

    1 gal. apple cider
    1 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
    1 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 t grated nutmeg
    In cheesecloth bag:
    1 T whole cloves
    1 T whole allspice
    6 crushed sticks of cinnamon

    Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Add rum or brandy if you want.

    Many thanks for The Confluence.

  54. Oh, BB — that sounds delicious! (Merry Christmas!)

  55. I just watched “RoboCop” on Blu-ray. There’s nothing like crystal clear and super sharp bloody carnage on Christmas day! “Thank you for your cooperation.”

  56. DYB, at last another die-hard “Firefly” fan. I recorded every episode. Then I bought the movie and have been seriously pi$$ed off every since. How dare they kill off not one but two of my favorite characters?

    I re-watch the series again and again but have watched the movie only once. But then I never forgave “West Wing” for killing off Mrs. Landingham. (Was that her name? Am i misrembering? Never mind, I’m not misremembering how angry I was.)

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