Christina Skye Archives and Library

The Holidays, 2005

Happy Holidays From Christina Skye

So here we all are again, fighting crowds, trying to get through a shopping list that gets later (and more complicated) every year. Are we having fun yet? If your answer is no, then it's time to kick off your shoes and snuggle up with a great book. Or hug the significant other in your life. (Kissing your kids would be a good idea too.) It's a perfect stress reliever for all involved. (Well, maybe not for your cat, who may not enjoy being kissed too much.) While you're de-stressing you can savor some of this dynamite sherry eggnog. Make a bunch and keep it to savor. (Don't be surprised if it goes faster than you thought. ) And if everything else fails, know that you're not alone. Summer and Jess are having stressful holidays too. Summer has come close to pulling her gun and tackling traffic duty once or twice when the parking lot at the mall has turned into a battle zone. As for Jess, she's angsting over her baby-to-come, certain she looks like a blimp, and getting teary eyed over every baby pattern and child care book she sees. Will they reconcile their out-of-control emotions and remember the love and joy of the season? Read my new holiday diaries 2005 and find out! Meanwhile, take a deep breath and relax. Be good to yourself by doing something you love. Here's wishing you a lovely holiday season and every happiness in the coming year.
All the best,
Christina
PS. Don't forget to check out Jess's and Summer's '05 Holiday diary entries and see how your guy stacks up with my Pooch Quiz.

Some fancy Code Name-style lip protection

Here's something to protect your lips against winter winds. The mix looks good all by itself, and it takes mere seconds to apply, which makes it perfect for an on-the-move operative like Kit O'Halloran.

  • 2 drops vitamin E oil (pierce a capsule and squeeze out the drops)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 1 drop cinammon oil (Wow! Don't use if your lips are ultra-sensitive!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 3 drops of whole leaf aloe gel (not the thin liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon emu oil

If you want to exfoliate, gently brush your lips with a tooth- brush. (Remember, I said gently!) Once the tingling stops, swish a little bit of this gloss across your mouth and get ready to shine! You won't even need lipstick. This mix tastes great! You can also add a drop of food-grade orange oil or vanilla flavoring for extra punch. If you want some added drama, mixing in a few drops of cranberry juice or grape juice should do the trick, depending on the tone you prefer. Not a single preservative, emulsifier or artificial coloring in sight! One swipe and you'll be ready for your close up with your leading man....... (Note: this should keep one week.)

Egg Nog Anyone?

The word "Eggnog" has an uncertain history. Some claim it derives from the Old English "noggin", a small, carved mug used in taverns while others say we Americans gave it its name. We Colonists replaced the Sherry used in England with Rum, called Grog then. Think about it. If you're drinking your Rum Eggnog in a noggin, you have a "noggin of egg'n'grog". That's enough to twist any Rum- befuddled tongue. Whatever its name, this combination of eggs, milk and alcohol is now one of America's Christmas traditions. Even George Washington had his own recipe, dosed with rye whiskey, rum and sherry, not a drink for the faint of heart. That said, I want to share my favorite Sherry Eggnog recipe with you--Yum!

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups sherry, choose a sweet, mellow flavored one
  • 1 quart whipping cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 grated vanilla beans
  • 3 cloves
  • sprinkling of mace
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Gently mix egg yolks and set aside. Combine milk, cinnamon, vanilla, mace and cloves in a heavy glass or ceramic (not metal) pan over very low heat for five minutes. Bring to a boil, then slowly add yolks to the milk and spices, mixing with a whisk as you cook over medium heat until foam fades. Don't boil the mixture or you'll have spicy curdled eggs and don't stop stirring! It will be done when the mix coats the back of a wooden spoon. -- not metal, it makes a difference; I don't know why. When thickened, remove from heat and strain well. Cool to room temperature, then add the cream and the sherry. Serve with a dusting of freshly ground nutmeg. The non-alcoholic version: add vanilla extract and a rich, non-filtered apple juice to taste. It won't taste the same, but it's still great!

Got Cranberries?

You've strung your cranberries and have a leftover bag. Now what? Cranberry Chutney is a great way to spice up any meal.

  • 1 10oz package fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger root
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients in a pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes until the berries burst. Store in clean containers. It will keep for several weeks in the back of your refrigerator. What do you do with it? Spread it on left- over turkey. It makes an easy sauce for fish or chicken. Once your meat is cooked add 6 tbsp Port and 2 tbsp chutney to the cooking pan and reduce to about half, then whisk in 1 tbsp of butter. Pour this over your meat and enjoy!