Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Charlene Smith
Reporter for Pine Bluffs Post 

The Americas, Asia bring in the holiday season

 


In some conversations about the number of continents, many people count North and South America as one. Our land-mass sharing neighbors to the south have many spicy versions of Christmas tidings. But for the intent of making friends from neighbors, we say, “Nuestro continente es su continente.”

The Americas do Christmas well. So well, that many who don’t believe in the reason for the holiday, celebrate Christmas. Maybe that is the way it is meant, to include as many as we can in the miraculous event.

In keeping with the holiday “spirit” here is Wendell Hovie’s recipe for Tom and Jerry’s. It will add spice to any get together.

Tom and Jerry’s (recipe from Wendell Hovie)

12 egg(s)

1 cup sugar

1 bottle brandy

Pinch of ground allspice

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

1 bottle dark rum

milk

nutmeg

Wendell would have a Tom and Jerry party every year. He would mix up the recipe and then keep the milk warm on the stove next to the hooch for stronger versions. Pretty easy prep.

Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until they form a stiff froth. Add the sugar to the yolks and beat “until they are as thin as water,” as Wendell advised. Gradually add 4 ounces brandy. You can spice to flavor here with all listed. Wendell added a pinch of each. Fold the whites into the yolks. Stir before serving, then put 1 tablespoon of mix in a small mug or tumbler. Add one ounce brandy and one ounce rum, although Wendell kept the bottle close for those guests needing more “spirit.” Stir constantly to avoid curdling. Fill to the top with hot milk and stir until you get foam. Sprinkle a little grated nutmeg on top. You may need to fiddle with the recipe until you get it right for your tastes. Wendell passed away in 2007 and after serving them for over 65 years, his were delightful.

Asia is a predominantly non-Christian continent. In China and Taiwan, Christmas is a private celebration. Dec. 25, in Hong Kong and Macao is a public holiday heavily influenced by western traditions and expanded lately by marketing streams into the culture. Taiwan and China celebrate Constitution Day Dec. 25.

The Philippines have heavy Spanish influence and log the longest Christmas traditions of Asia. They usher the days of advent in with mass at dawn and celebrate a Christmas feast after midnight mass on Christmas eve.

South Korea recognizes it as a public day, and with western media, some non-Christian Koreans engage in gift-giving. The commercial influence is strong in Japan and the Japanese enjoy the secular celebrations of Christmas, second only to New Year’s Day, which is a sacred holiday.

In Jordan, Christians are not allowed to celebrate or even recognize Christmas as a public holiday. In Malaysia, Christmas is a public holiday, however, there is an unofficial ban on Christian religious motif, so the celebration is purely secular.

The Asian populations have not designated much time to creating cook books for the holiday. However, they do have a recipe for Longevity Noodles, a nice dish for your Christmas or New Year’s dinner.

Longevity Noodles (recipe by taste.com)

Ingredients

2 x 85g packets fried noodles

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 medium brown onion, cut into thin wedges

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 pieces fresh ginger, finely grated

½ pound lup cheong (Chinese pork sausage but you can use any pork sausage), sliced diagonally

2 celery stalks (keep the leaves back) sliced thin diagonally

1 bunch broccolini, cut into thirds (I had never heard of this so Google came to the rescue and it is broccoli with smaller florets. You can use broccoli if you can’t find it.)

1 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced

1 bunch bok choy, trimmed, stems chopped, leaves separated

1/4 cup soy sauce

Keep the seasoning packets from the noodles. Cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Heat a wok over high heat. Swirl oil in it to coat. Stir-fry onion, garlic, ginger, and sausage for two to three minutes or until onion has softened. Add celery, broccolini, capsicum and bok choy stems. Stir-fry for a few minutes or until broccolini is just tender. Add seasoning packets. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add noodles, bok choy leaves and soy sauce. Stir-fry until leaves have wilted and noodles are heated through. Serve sprinkled with reserved celery leaves and serve up some longevity. Happy New Year!

 

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