Posts Tagged ‘traditional’

Since this blog has been around for going on five years now, a lot of the posts from Christmases past have broken links therein, as folks out there on the internet move stuff around, or forget to renew their domains, etc. YouTube video links, in particular, are vulnerable – you tube is like some insane carnival of the indigent, people coming and going, opening and closing accounts, various entities contesting copyright and having material removed, etc….

Anyway, I’m working to get as many of those bad links repaired and redirected to other sources of the same material, or at least redirect you to something of comparable interest. It’s a labor of love, to be sure, with nearly 340 posts.

Here’s a start: Every single link to online christmas karaoke videos in this post was broken. I’ve gone through and redirected every one that I could; those that I couldn’t find substitutions for are gone.

I’ve fixed some other stuff as well, this evening: Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds are back singing “White Christmas,” while Cheech is telling Chong the Story of Santa and His Old Lady in yet another Christmas season.

On Donner, on Blitzen, on Chewy, on Tavo….


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Raspberry Shrub
A raspberry-based Christmas punch seems fitting for this particular part of the state, considering that Whatcom County boasts the largest annual raspberry harvest in the United States.

In case you’re wondering about the term “shrub,” the name of this and other drinks in the “shrub” category come from the Arabic word sharab which means, literally, “to drink.” Shrubs are an old time beverage, the word “shrub” (as descriptive of a drink) going back to at least 1747 where the Oxford Dictionary defined it as, “…”any of various acidulated beverages made from the juice of fruit, sugar, and other ingredients…”

Classic shrub recipes often call for the addition of vinegar or brandy to give it zing, but the following recipe relies on a can of lemonade concentrate and ginger ale for that.


  • 4 pkgs (10 oz. each) frozen raspberries
  • 1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate (do not add water)
  • 2 quarts ginger ale


  • Thaw raspberries, then cook all four packages in a saucepan for ten minutes.
  • Force through strainer with wooden spoon while still hot
  • Allow to cool
  • Add lemonade concentrate
  • Just before serving, add the ginger ale, well-chilled
  • Serve over ice.

Makes 24 servings of about 1/2 cup each.

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The Rare Mince Pie

Chopped beef and beef suet have been a significant ingredient of mince pies since day one, hence the name mincemeat. A 17th century poem contains a verse which reads:

Drink now the strong beer,
Cut the white loaf here,
The while the meat is a-shredding;
For the rare mince pie
And the plums stand by
To fill the paste that’s a-kneading.

Traditional Old English Mincemeat is well and good for some, but for those who don’t eat meat, and for those who shudder at the dietary implications of introducing yet more fat into a holiday diet already high in fat and calories, here is a meatless alternative. In addition to being meat-free, the recipe is also much less involved than the traditional alternative.

Note: Not everyone will like mince pie. As a general rule, I would offer that if you don’t like marmalade, fruitcake, or raisins, then there’s a good chance you won’t like mince pie.


This recipe is sufficient for 3 to 4 nine-inch pies, using 3-4 cups mincemeat per pie. Halving all ingredients should make enough mincemeat for two pies.

  • 1 seeded orange
  • 1 seeded lemon
  • 1-1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1-1/2 cups dried currants
  • 8 tart apples (Granny Smith are good)
  • 3/4 cup mixed candied fruit peel, diced
  • 1-3/4 cups apple cider
  • 3-1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons each powdered: cinnamon, allspice, mace, nutmeg & cloves
  • Optional: Brandy, rum, sherry, or whiskey to taste.

Preparation: (more…)

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When winter nights grow long,
And winds without grow cold,
We sit in a ring round the warm wood-fire
And listen to stories old!
And we try to look grave (as maids should be)
When the men bring the boughs of the Laurel tree.
O the Laurel, the evergreen tree!
The poets have laurels, and why not we?

How pleasant, when night falls down
And hides the wintry sun,
To see them come in to the blazing fire,
And know that their work is done;
Whilst many bring in, with a laugh or rhyme,
Green branches of Holly for Christmas time!
O the Holly, the bright green Holly,
It tells (like a tongue) that the times are jolly!

Sometimes (in our grave house,
Observe, this happeneth not),
But, at times the evergreen laurel boughs
And the holly are all forgot!
And then! what then? why, the men laugh low,
And hang up a branch of the mistletoe!
O brave is the laurel! and brave is the holly!
But the Mistletoe banisheth melancholy!
Ah, nobody knows, nor ever shall know,
What is done–under the Mistletoe.

Bryan Waller Procter (1787-1874)

Christmas Holly

Bryan Waller Procter

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Season’s Greetings


Sing hey! Sing hey!
For Christmas Day;
Twine mistletoe and holly,
For friendship glows
In winter snows,
And so let’s all be jolly.

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