TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month – Egg Nog – July 2021

This month the video is from our camera angle, so there is some behind the scenes dialogue between the Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy as we were figuring out the Facebook ‘go live’ feature. This is the same feature we struggled with last month. Hopefully we will get all that sorted.

Now, on to the July Cocktail of the month – Egg Nog! We decided to do a little Christmas in July here at the homestead and nothing says holidays like Egg Nog (according to Miss Mercy).

This was a fun cocktail to research and fun to make. The recipe I used was from my 1941 Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer. The first edition of this book came out in 1896, and the earliest edition I have is 1912. The 1941 book is the first one in which this eggnog recipe appears, as far as I could tell. As a side note, a very similar recipe is included in Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, published in 1949.

Known during the medieval period as ‘posset’, it was made with hot milk curdled with ale, wine or something similar and then sweetened and spices added. Because of the high cost of ingredients, it was a drink enjoyed by the upper class. How the drink came to be called Egg Nog is a bit of a mystery. One possibility of its origin comes from the wooden cup used to drink it was called a “noggin”. Egg Nog was a pretty common drink in England and the United States by the 1700s. Here in states, we swapped out the alcohol for some that was not being taxed. Read more from the History Kitchen from PBS.

One of the more sensational notes about our cocktail this month comes in the story of the Egg Nog riot of 1826. This riot took place at West Pointe – and it was a doozy. The Superintendent of the school had forbade the consumption of alcohol by the cadets, which really put a wrench in their traditional Christmas celebrations which included spiked Egg Nog. The cadets spiked the Egg Nog and things, as they say, escalated. Cadets were expelled and Christmas celebrations were no more. Smithsonian Magazine had quite an article about the riot, which you can find here.

I am a big fan of Egg Nog, even more so now that I have this delicious recipe to make. It makes 5 quarts, which does sound like a lot, but it goes surprisingly quick! And while not everyone enjoys the tasty drink, as a country we manage to drink 15 million gallons of it during the winter holiday season.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, do let us know what you think!

Virginia Egg Nog – The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer

12 eggs

12 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 quart milk

2 cups whisky (we used Weller Special Reserve)

1 cup rum (we used Bacardi light rum)

1 quart heavy cream, beaten

Beat egg yolks with sugar until very light. Add milk, whisky, and rum. Fold in cream and egg whites, beaten until very stiff. Add more sugar or liquor to taste. Serve very cold with grated nutmeg on each cup. Makes 5 quarts.

Enjoy!

TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month – Harvey Wallbanger – June 2021

This was our second attempt recording this video as Facebook made some changes to its “go live” function. Pretty sure we still don’t know what we are doing! We managed to get something recorded though.

Our TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month was chosen by the Mad Farmer in celebration of Father’s Day. The Harvey Wallbanger became popular in the 1970’s . Here is an interesting post on the history of the drink. It was fairly extensive, albeit a little underwhelming. It provided the ridiculous tag line “Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made!”

The Harvey Wallbanger is a dressed up version of a screwdriver – the dress being Galliano. Galliano has a licorice like flavor and is yellow. The bottle says it has over 30 herbs and spices – seems like maybe there could have been a different note to bring out instead of licorice. A little surprisingly, it does add a nice flavor to the drink. However, if you are not a fan of licorice, you may want to stick to the screwdriver.

We took our recipe from the Galliano site and you can find it here. If you give this cocktail a try, let us know what you think!

Please, drink responsibly and get into the spirit of things!

TSL Homestead Cocktail of the Month – Mint Julep May 2021

The first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby so the Mad Farmer and I thought it would be fun to do a Mint Julep for our May cocktail. We were busy the first Saturday in May, so we did not watch the Kentucky Derby. However, not watching does not equal not celebrating 馃槈

Since there is an event tied to the cocktail this month, right out of the gate it seemed reasonable to do a bit of research on the race and the drink. So first, a little information on the Derby.

The Derby was started by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark of the William and Clark expedition [An interesting book about the Lewis and Clark expedition is called: Or Perish in the Attempt: Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Dr. David J. Peck. While it is out of print, you may be able to find a used copy]. Clark modeled the Kentucky Derby on the derby held at Epsom Downs, in England, that he saw while traveling abroad. That derby was started in 1780 by the 12th earl of Derby. The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 at Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, KY. The race is 3 year old thoroughbreds racing 1.25 miles. The original distance was 1.5 miles but was changed in 1896 after complaints that the distance was too long. It is the longest running sports event in the country.

In 1884, Clark gave the winner of the Derby roses. This tradition continued and in 1925 a sports writer dubbed the race the ‘Run for the Roses’ and it stuck. Later, in the 1930s, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes were grouped together and called the Triple Crown. And, while everyone may not be familiar with the Preakness or the Belmont, most folks know that the Kentucky Derby is known for extravagant hats and mint juleps!

Well, it turns out that the julep has a very different beginning than what we currently know as the mint julep. For starters, it used to just be a julep., no mint – or bourbon. They were typically rum, water and sugar. The word julep is derived from a Persian word then it went to Arabic and then Latin and eventually we got to julep. The original Persian word meant sweetened rosewater. Early juleps were made with cognac or other French brandies. Sadly, an infection of grapevines in France in the mid 1880’s and an excise tax on American made brandies made whiskey the staple for the julep after the Civil War. The first reference to mint julep goes back to 1784 when they were used as medicine. The first print mention of the mint julep is 1803 in the book by John Davis called Travels of Four and a Half Years in the United States of America.

Fast forward a little bit, 1938 – and we find the mint julep becoming the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Fast forward a bit more, 2015, and we find Old Forrester being the official whiskey. They serve 120,000 mint juleps at the Derby – yes, 120,000. The race is one lap around a track. I can’t imagine how many it would be if it were two!

Hope you have enjoyed our stroll through the history of the Kentucky Derby and its official drink, the mint julep. We are including two recipes for your enjoyment, one with cognac, and one with Old Forrester. If you have the time, mint, and patience, do make the mint simple syrup – it is delicious!

Please, drink responsibly, and get into the spirit of things!

The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe from KentuckyDerby.com

路         2 cups sugar

路         2 cups water

路         Sprigs of fresh mint

路         Crushed ice

路         Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight.

Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Whisky.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Cognac Mint Julep from Hennessy.com

1.75 oz Cognac

8 mint leaves

.5 oz simple syrup

1 fresh mint branch to garnish

Place the mint leaves in a tall julep glass and gently press the mint leaves with a pestle (or spoon) to release the oils. Add the simple syrup and cognac. Stir completely and finish with crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

TSL Homestead Cocktail of the Month – Blue Hawaii April 2021

This month we are celebrating our 10th anniversary with a drink that reflects our honeymoon to Hawaii – the Blue Hawaii. Hard to believe we are rounding the corner to 10 years. What a fun journey it has been!

This cocktail was created in 1957 by Harry Yee, while he was working at the Village Hotel in Waikiki. Mr. Yee was approached by a representative of Bols (a Dutch distiller) and asked to create a drink using their liquor, Blue Curacao – and so the Blue Hawaii was born.

Blue Curacao uses the peel of the Laraha citrus fruit for the taste (think orange-ish) and color is added to make it blue. Here’s a fun video about how to pronounce Curacao

The liquor we used was Combier Le Bleu. They have been making Curacao for 180 years. Their recipe was created by J.B. Combier while serving time in prison in the French village of Nantes (Combierusa.com).

There is another blue cocktail called the Blue Hawaiian, which is a blended drink and has Creme de Coconut in it. That may be for a different show…

The recipe we used came from Imbibemagazine.com and their recipe is from The Pink Squirrel:

3/4 oz white rum – we used Barcardi

3/4 oz vodka – we used Tito’s

3/4 oz blue curacao – we used Combier Le Bleu

3 oz of fresh pinapple juice – we used Knudson’s

1 oz fresh sour mix (recipe below)

Sour mix

1 C water

1 C granulated sugar

Heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature then add:

1 C fresh lemon juice

1/2 C fresh lime juice

This stores in the fridge up to a week. I think I am going to try it in margaritas…

Mix in a shaker and strain into a glass with ice – if you have a hurricane glass, use that. Enjoy!

Miss Mercy Keeps House

Part of our journey toward sustainability has involved being more aware of household cleaners and scents in general. Before the Mad Farmer and I got married, I used scent free laundry detergent, soap and lotion. I am not opposed to scents; I just wasn鈥檛 a fan of the super scented stuff. I did have a little guilty pleasure in candles, but eventually even that became too smelly. The Mad Farmer used scented laundry detergent and scented soap. Slowly, over the years, we have managed to minimize the amount of scented stuff we use. The commercially scented stuff is just over the top 鈥 and not pleasant to my nose.

However, dishes still need to be washed, laundry still needs to get done, and cleaning house still needs to happen. What to do? Scour the internet for homegrown methods for housekeeping, of course.

I started our personal care journey by making some soap, which went pretty well. However, I didn鈥檛 continue to make it. I also tried making our deodorant, that didn鈥檛 go as well. Every recipe I tried, the baking soda was too harsh for my skin 鈥 so that was a no go. We finally settled on using Apple Cider Vinegar, which works pretty well. I have found a recipe that uses vodka and white vinegar that I have yet to try 鈥 here is the link: https://wholelifestylenutrition.com/natural-solutions/all-natural-deodorant-recipe/ 

I was interested in using as few chemicals as possible for housekeeping, so I started my search once again on the internet for dish soap. Most of the recipes I found called for white vinegar and castile soap. The problem with this mixture is: white vinegar desaponifies the soap. That is not helpful. Finally, I found a recipe for dish soap on The Hippy Homemaker that I LOVE! I have been making it for the last 5 years. I use about 10 drops of lemon or thieves essential oil. Here is the link:  https://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/diy-dish-soap-that-actually-works-its-simple-no-melting-and-no-waiting/  What I love about this recipe is that I can make multiple batches of it at a time, and I just use a recycled soap bottle 鈥 that is 5 years of not buying plastic containers of liquid dish soap 鈥 how cool is that! I have tried a few recipes for dishwashing powder. Unfortunately, thus far I haven鈥檛 found one that works as well as I would like.

The same cleanser I use for the dish soap, Dr. Bronner鈥檚 Sal Suds, I also use to clean the bathrooms and do the laundry 鈥 who doesn鈥檛 love a good multi-tasker when it comes to cleaning! Here鈥檚 a great link to Lisa Bronner talking about Dr. Bronner鈥檚 Sal Suds: https://www.lisabronner.com/sal-suds-or-castile-soap-which-one-should-you-use/  There is a pine scent to Sal Suds, and while it isn鈥檛 overpowering, it is noticeable. 

I hope you find some of these links helpful in your journey to more sustainable housekeeping and personal care. I look forward to sharing what we have tried and liked (or maybe was a miss), as we continue trying to simplify and live more intentionally.