I was shaving in the shower when the phone rang. I rushed to the phone, dripping wet.
“Hey Bunkie, how soon can you get down here?” It was Clyde with a very early morning phone call.
“Well, let me finish shaving and get dressed. I’ll be right down. Just be glad I hadn’t already started cooking breakfast.”
I came through the door a few minutes later, Clyde was at a table by the window. “What’s up Clyde? You sounded desperate on the phone.”
“I am desperate Bunkie. Can you get The Williams Sisters to come by here and talk with me for a few minutes? I’ve got a private party coming up and they are only ones who can save me.”
“I’m sure I can, what should I tell them all the urgency’s about?”
“You remember a few years back when we went to their father’s house for a New Years Eve party? And the great eggnog they served? Well, I need a really good eggnog recipe.”
“Let me call them while you get us some coffee, I’m sure they will share the eggnog recipe. But not the “Father’s Recipe” that goes in it.”
Rita brought my coffee and asked if I wanted my anti-union breakfast. I told her yes, and she scurried off to pass it on to Chris.
I was just finishing my breakfast when Clara and Francis came in. Resplendent in greens and reds for the Christmas season. They came to the table I was occupying and settled in, shedding coats and purses as they came.
Clyde soon came over, his hat in his hands.
“Miss Francis, I really need to ask a favor. Could you share your eggnog recipe?”
“Why of course Clyde, Bunkie already told us that’s what you wanted. I wrote it down before we came down here.”
Clara spoke up quickly, “It does not include “Father’s Recipe” though. You’ll have to substitute something else.”
“I understand Clara,” Clyde said. “I can’t sell “Father’s Recipe” in here anyway.”
Francis said, “Get us some breakfast, then we’ll work out a trade for the eggnog recipe. I want Grits & Shrimp.”
“Ugh, how can you and Bunkie eat those grub worms? Clyde, have Rita bring me a western omelet, with extra fried onions on top.” Said Clara.
While the sister’s enjoyed their breakfast, Clyde and I sat quietly and talked of cabbages and kings and sealing wax and whether pigs had wings.
When they had finished, Francis motioned us over and said, “Clyde, here is my eggnog recipe. Now remember, it calls for raw eggs. Does that bother you?”
“Not me, but the health department won’t like it much. I can get pasteurized eggs though, will they work as well?”
I said, “Sure they will. But you do know you can pasteurize your own eggs, right? You just bring them to 140 degrees in water for a few minutes, then immediately rinse in cold water. They store and use just like plain old eggs.”
Francis picked up where she left off. Unfolding a handwritten piece of paper she said, “Listen while I go over the recipe with you.
“You’ll need all this stuff Clyde,” As she traced down the list with her finger;
“4 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for later
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bourbon, go ahead and use the good stuff, it IS Christmas. I prefer Maker’s Mark when I don’t use ‘Father’s Recipe.’ You can leave this out, but I doubt you will.
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, not that awful stuff in a can.
“Beat the egg yolks until they just begin to lighten in color. You can do this by hand, but if you have a stand mixer it’s much more fun. Gradually I add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved. Now is when you’ll be glad you didn’t try to do this by hand.
“Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir, by hand, to combine. Then transfer this mixture to a clean bowl.
“Clean the bowl of your stand mixer. And I mean squeaky clean or you’ll beat yourself to death. Add the egg whites and beat until soft peaks begin to form, but don’t stop the mixer. Gradually add the tablespoon of sugar and continue until you get stiff peaks.
“After beating the egg whites, use a wire whisk to blend the two mixtures together.
“Then you put it all in a pitcher and watch your customer’s faces glow. Oh, for a little showmanship at the bar, grate a bit of the nutmeg on top as you serve it.
“You can easily double this recipe, and I’ve been told it gets better over next few weeks in the refrigerator. I don’t know, we’ve never been able to keep it that long.”
Clyde said, “Thanks a lot ladies, breakfast is on me this morning.”
“Make that the next five breakfasts,” Clara replied, “and you got a deal.”
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”