Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bourbon Slush and Christmas Eve

If you're a procrastinator like me, Christmas Eve is generally consumed with putting together Playmobil castles that have 648 small pieces, and finding the stocking stuffers that I've hidden so cleverly all over my bedroom that I can't actually locate any of them.

This is the recipe to make all of that effort tolerable, even faintly amusing.  Promise

I present Ye Olde Family Recipe for Bourbon Slush:  going ahead and posting it here for posterity.  Because my great grandchildren are *totally* getting a copy of my blog in the family archives. Ha.

2 cups boiling water
4 regular-size tea bags
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 cups bourbon
(1) 12 oz can frozen orange juice  thawed and undiluted
(1) 12 oz can frozen lemonade, thawed and undiluted
lemon-lime soda, chilled
Garnishes"lemon rind curls, maraschino cherries
Pour boiling water over tea bags;cover and let stand 5 minutes.   
Remove tea bags, squeezing gently; add sugar, stirring until it  
dissolves.  Stir in 6 cups water and next 3 ingredients.  Cover and  
freeze at least 8 hours.  To serve, spoon 1/2 cup bourbon  mixture  
into each glass, add 1/2 cup soda to each.  Garnish, if desired.
Yield: 6 quarts

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Light Will Always Come

I stand at my kitchen window, these dark December mornings, and I'm astonished by the sunrises of winter. 

Blackness - complete blackness - imperceptibly gives way to black silhouettes against pink, orange, purple.  The entire world is reduced to two dimensions - all is either dark or light.

Watching the light arrive, in my quiet kitchen before anyone has stirred, memories surface: watching suns rise after all-nighters in college, after pacing the floors with wailing newborns.

Winter Sunrise

It is a benediction, every morning:  the end of darkness, the return of the light.  A benediction that promises us daily that no matter how dark, no matter how long the night has been, the sun returns to shine on every living thing - returns to vanquish every last shadow. To make us fully three-dimensional.

At the winter's solstice, where we welcome the gradual (maybe painfully slow, some days) return of the sun to our lives, we can receive that benediction every single morning:  the Light will always return.

With that, I will leave you with a beautiful quote from Gunilla Norris: 
In our lives, we sometimes find ourselves in what feels like our darkest days - days of trouble and loss when our spirits are overwhelmed.  It's important then to remember that our inner light is still there though we may not be able to feel it. Given time, our spirits will lighten bit by bit the way more daylight comes back bit by bit with each day.
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