Archive for December 9th, 2004

December 9th, 2004

Christmas Cheer!!

I make no secret of my disdain/dislike of premature Christmas Celebrations; like putting decorations and lights up on 07 Dec or excess shopping or caroling or chronic and persistent cheerfulness.

However, even I am forced to admit that there are some things, necessary for enthusiastic and joyus holiday celebrations, which must be prepared well in advance (from Teresa Nielsenhayden’s Making Light).

Chatham County Artillery Punch

An old recipe found on Yucks Digest V4 #31, just in time for the holiday parties. It was originally posted by one Scott Dorsey, in September of 1994. It should be made well in advance of need.

Chatham County Artillery Punch

1 lb. green tea

2 gallons cold water

3 gallons Catawba wine

1 gallon rum

1 gallon brandy

1 gallon rye whiskey

5 lbs. brown sugar

2 qts. cherries

juice of three dozen oranges

juice of three dozen lemons

1 gallon gin

12 quarts of champagne

Mix the green tea into the cold water and let it stand overnight, then strain. Mix the tea and juices together first, then the sugar and the liquors, but don’t add the champagne. The recipe doesn’t specify when to add the cherries, but putting them in after the sugar and liquors should work. It also notes that the gin should be “added after juice to make smooth.” How you interpret this is up to you.

Note: Rye whiskey is not Canadian Club, unless you’ve been given a large bottle of CC and are stuck for ways to get rid of it. There are three non-boutique brands of rye: Jim Beam Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, and Old Overholt. The latter’s my favorite, but they’re all passable.

The recipe says to put a cover on your container and let the punch stock set for a week or two. In my opinion, you should put said container in a cool dark place, and more than a week is pushing it. Judging from internal evidence, this punch recipe dates from a time when large refrigerators were uncommon; but if you have sufficient capacity, I think refrigerating it would be a good idea. Spoiled citrus juice is nasty, and it would be a terrible waste of all that hootch.

When you’re ready to serve the punch, stir it well, then add ice and twelve quarts of chilled champagne, and stir again. If I’ve added the numbers up correctly, it should make something on the order of 14 gallons of punch, not counting the ice.

Like all such recipes, this one is advertised to have a pleasant, innocent, refreshing taste, while packing a wallop like a salvo from a 12-inch gun. It boasts the additional distinction of having, on some unspecified occasion, flattened Admiral Dewey. Perhaps it did. I have a vague memory of Paula Lieberman once telling me about a jolly trick involving alcohol and grapefruit juice, but I don’t remember it well enough to judge whether this recipe uses the same trick.

December 9th, 2004


Tuesday was Leon’s birthday (he was/is 28). This is posted late as the ftp server was down and I was busy. In any case Leon is a bit poorly after overindulging at his birthday dinner on Tues so I probably have plenty of time to post this.

Ronan thinks Leon is great and gave me a couple of photos. The first is Leon as the drummer for SSMH

the second is Leon at home, drunk or stoned or something