I have already posted again this year my recipe for eggnog, the absolute best possible eggnog:
There is a rival holiday beverage, the Tom & Jerry, which supposedly was created in the early 1800’s as a variant of eggnog. To quote from the new and lovely The Essential Bar Book by Jennifer Fiedler, making a Tom & Jerry is a pain in the ass. Getting the batter right is hard. Getting the batter to last long and not to separate is exceptionally different. But the recipe here in The Essential Bar Book has an extra special ingredient that I’m about to try: butter. The butter here should help bind the batter and life should be easier. I’m going to find out this Christmas.
You, if you have children, maybe you should find out now.
The recipe below is for 25. You are not throwing a party tonight? You’ll still have visitors, you know, and actually far more visitors than is commonly known.
Kids are smart. They know not to be too suspicious about Santa Claus, because they do not want to jeopardize the flow of presents. But that very flow is problematic. By the time they are five or so, a naturally bright kid is going to ask, “How do all the presents for the entire world fit in one sleigh?”
Just saying back to your child that Santa is fast will probably not, in the age of wireless tablets, suffice. If the internet is slow at times, how can Santa possibly do it all in one sleigh?
And of course the truth is, Santa doesn’t do it all on his own. There is the official Santa sleigh we all know about. But in the background there are convoys of freighter sleighs piloted by elves with backup reindeer. On just about every block, a freighter will arrive and wait for Santa. Santa appears and pops down chimneys, emptying out his sleigh. The crew from the freighter sleigh is already restocking Santa’s sleigh though. Santa takes off from that block with a full sleigh again, while the freighter dashes back to the North Pole to refill.
If you could visit one of the classified radar sights that monitor all this, you’d see the many tracks of freighters as they go back and forth in huge convoys, fill back up, and then speed back south to different blocks to meet Santa and keep the whole delivery process going on, flawlessly.
You think the Japanese invented just-in-time inventory control? Heck, about a dozen years ago, Federal Express stopped all software development. Now they just lease the scheduling software from Santa to control all their aircraft and deliveries around the world. Who has the system that can handle the biggest traffic surge? Santa, so you go with best.
It’s been great for FedEx. And for Santa. His elves were very good at making things from wood and cloth, but plastics have proved a challenge in the Arctic environment. And how could elves work on those wireless tablets or program up the database programs need for game consoles? No, Santa takes the FedEx money and ships elves south each spring to Silicon Valley.
Ever seen the buses in the Valley run by Google, and Microsoft and all the other big names? Buses that move employees around from home to work? Ever think you’ve seen empty seats in those buses? No. The buses are packed. The “empty” seats are filled with elves on their way to programming classes for the new devices for the next Christmas. It’s all very high tech. Forget the rustic stuff. That went out with Windows 95.
So, tonight, you may think it is Santa on your roof, maybe with a couple of elf helpers. But it’s bigger than that. Because on your roof or the one next door, there is a freighter sleigh piled ever so high with packages destined for you block or the block one street over with a dozen busy elves busting their elf asses.
In gratitude, tonight, please do Santa and all his workers a big favor. Make this bowl of Tom & Jerrys with 25 servings. Leave a note for Santa inviting him, and that whole freighter crew, to just pause for bit on their busy night.
It’s okay. It won’t disrupt anything. There is a Tom and Jerry module built into the scheduling software. Just ask your FedEx guy. He knows.
I will post a review of The Essential Bar Book. It’s good. Spurs the imagination.
Tom & Jerry
- 12 eggs
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whole milk, hot water, or a mixture (1:1, milk:hot water)
- 1 bottle (750 ml) brandy
- 1 bottle (750 ml) aged rum
- Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
Separate egg whites from yolks into two large bowls. Add butter and sugar to egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer. Mix will be slightly chunky. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
Using a spatula, gently fold egg whites into yolk mixture until color and consistency is the same. To finish the batter, stir in allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.
If desired, the batter can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator, covered, for a few hours before assembly. To assemble Tom & Jerrys, gently heat milk in a saucepan over low heat (amount depends on how many drinks you plan to serve).
Add 1 tablespoon of batter to a mug or small rocks glass. While constantly stirring batter, add 1 ounce brandy and 1 ounce rum. Fill to the top with milk (or hot water, or a 1:1 ratio), and stir until foamy. Grate fresh nutmeg over top to garnish.