The 12 Days of Christmas

Things have been entirely too crazy around here!  First, I caught that friend’s cold but good. It put me down again for several days. Apparently, I’m still not quite up to snuff on my immune system.  Gotta work on that. Then, I spent a good portion of last week pacing. You see, my daughter’s due date was the 5th but as we all know, the first child can come anytime. My beautiful granddaughter, Lyra, finally greeted the world last Friday night.

Also on Friday, my mother decided to ignore the temperature gauge in her car (which indicated a coolant leak) and ran it dry. Killed the aluminum head for starters. So I’m back to playing chauffeur again.

Saturday was hubby’s company holiday party. They changed the venue and we had a difficult time finding the new place … posting street numbers on buildings in Murphy, North Carolina is apparently an option. The weatherman had already alerted us that a winter storm was on the way and it did start raining on the way home while the temperature continued to plummet.

By Monday afternoon we had a little over 4″ of the white stuff piled up. Not that I mind it much here in Georgia – it doesn’t have to be shoveled, you just wait for it to melt. But our roads are not only curvy, they are hilly so driving is a dangerous proposition. The main roads are now clear but we’re getting a cold rain today which is turning the snow pack on the shaded back roads into sheets of ice – I should have saved my ice skates.

Top that off with my mother-in-law having to move from her one bedroom to a studio in her retirement community now. Hubby and his brother are going to have to make a special trip there this weekend, throwing stuff into boxes without really sorting, just to get it moved. With him gone, it will be up to me to finish getting the house ready for the holidays.

So, I’ve decided this year I’m going to celebrate not the usual 12 Days of Christmas, but the 12 Jamaican Days of Christmas. It seems appropriate for the craziness going on around here.  (Thanks to my friend, Elgin Wells. You can buy the entire CD here.)

12  Calypso drummers

11  Reggae strummers

Ziggy Marley leaping

9  Limbo Ladies

8  Mambo Mammas

7   Sandy Seagulls

6  Waiters Serving

Bacardi drinks (hic)

4  Mockingbirds

3  French Bikinis

2 Coconuts

and a Mynah bird in a palm tree

I think I’ve posted this before but my favorite winter drink is my grandmother’s recipe for Wassail. I plan on starting my 12 days early & indulging in those 5 Bacardi drinks with it:

2 quarts apple cider (you can use apple juice but it won’t be as flavorful)

1 pint cranberry juice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 sticks cinnamon

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 small orange studded with cloves

This works best in a crock pot on low heat but you can do it stove-top if you keep the heat very low and don’t mind watching it. Combine all ingredients & cover. You’ll want to stir a couple of times during the first hour or so to ensure all the sugar dissolves and is distributed throughout the liquid. Best served after warming 6 hours or so. Spike with one cup rum (spiced rum works very well).  Makes about 12 cups.

After it’s simmered long enough, remove the spices from the liquid. Peel & eat the orange … you’ll get a lot of healthful benefits from it and the clove oil which has soaked into the fruit.

I’ll be offline again next week getting ready for the Christmas holiday with family (mine comes earlier in the week). However and whatever you celebrate … Happy Holidays!