Monday, October 13, 2008

Lady Kathryn Callaway and the Christmas Glogg

Two years ago I was introduced to Kathryn Callaway. Lady Kathryn, as she's come to be known, is an older woman who grew up and later retired near here... in a Civil War era homestead that came to be known as Holly Hill. Kathryn is outspoken and formiddable and knows everything. Just ask her. (Last time I saw her, she reminded me to start smearing Crisco on my face and hands before I go to bed so I won't get "old and dried out before it's time".) Yep. I thought of Kathryn today because I was watching the movie Mrs. Dalloway and one of Virginia Woolf's characters reminded me of her.

Kathryn Callaway is quite a woman. A force, is what I'd call her. Last year when a friend and I went to visit, Kathryn ushered us into her sitting room and poured us crystal glasses of the prettiest drink I'd ever tasted. "Christmas Glogg," she said, looking me over without blinking.

I thought it was wonderful.


She sold us the recipe... for $25 each. (Isn't that right, Grace?) It bewildered me then but tickles me now. The recipe, and a jumble of other things, was photocopied with other pages and tied together with string. I adore it.

It took me a minute, but I found the pages this morning. And low and behold, according to Kathryn, it's time to make Christmas Glogg. Her directions clearly state to make "several weeks before the Holidays, or as soon as cranberries are in season." Down the page she adds, "Make a large jar at least 6 weeks before Christmas". Luckily for me, I had a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer and a lonely bottle of gin in a dusty box. Christmas in October, here we come. Here's Kathryn's recipe, as written, only please don't tell her I shared it with you for free; she'll probably sue me or slather me in Crisco or something.


Christmas Glogg

"Chop two pounds of cranberries. Put into a pretty jar and add 1 pt. of Dry Gin [Brin's note: I assume she abbreviates "pt" to mean "part", not "pint". Regardless, add equal parts of gin and water], 1 pt. water and 6 cups sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Place jar in pretty location and leave to "ripen" for at least 4 to 6 weeks, stirring every few days. When ready to serve, strain out berries. Do not throw berries away; use as topping for ice cream or pound cakes. This is good, good and oh so festive."

Don't know why I felt so compelled to stir this up today, but now it's done. I guess it will be ready in time for the Freeman House Christmas Tour on December 12th and 13th.

But more on that later. For now I have to find a "pretty place" to put my jar....

20 comments:

~Mad said...

YUM!
I am for sure going to make that!
Peace.
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
www.xanga.com/madewyn

Jenn said...

I am soo making Christmas Glogg. I drank it in Austria. It is fabulous. Although I had not seen it made this way. Thanks!!!

thedomesticfringe said...

Never heard of Christmas Clogg, but looks great. I love cranberries.

Susan said...

I guess Miss Millie must be on the mend ... we sure would love an update on her condition.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh boy howdy! That sounds just wonderful and it's going to look so pretty just sitting around on a shelf or table top. Are you certain that's the prettiest jar you could find? :D

Hope that Millie is feeling lots and lots better.

Cori G. said...

What a hoot! I'm curious...was the pretty jar idea yours or hers?
Wish I could be there for the house tour, but I'll be in S. Cal.

Have a blessed day.
Cori G.

GirlonTour said...

Can't wait to try this! Unfortunately I will be spending Christmas in an alcohol free country, but you can have Christmas at any time of year I guess??? ;)

elenka said...

Sounds, delicious, but, according to my calculations, you are putting in 4 Cups of liquid and 6 Cups of sugar.
Unless something happens to the sugar while it's sitting around, you are drinking 1 1/2 Cups of sugar with each cup of the drink at Christmas! Can this be true??
It does look pretty, tho!

Paula said...

Wow, my friend gave me a huge thing of gin, which I don't care for. This sounds like fun! Have to find a fun jar and buy some cranberries. Dh would probably like this!
Paula

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Looks and sounds like Christmas in a jar, I'll be trying it too! Gee, wish I lived closer to come to your Christmas tour, but maybe you can share it with us here? How is Millie, back to her old self yet? Come by my blog, I've posted a recipe for homemade vanilla that you would love, esp. for your bake shop!

Anna said...

Oh, Brin, will you write some more please? I am bored and struck with writer's-block today. Although, I think it may be, um, something like 7am where you are? (sigh.) I have ordered my cranberries ready, but am having second thoughts about the gin. Will it taste of gin? Should I substitute with something that I like better? I have a jar and ribbon ready too, which are clearly the most important things to the recipe's success. Suppose I had better get back to work.... not waking up yet? .... no....

redeemed diva said...

What a great idea! I will definitely try this.
Happy Thanksgiving from this Canadian girl.

Brin said...

Elenka,

Sorry for the confusion! I immediately read Kathryn's recipe as being "one part" gin and "one part" water... meaning if you add a bottle of gin you should stir in that same amount of water. But after seeing your comment I realized, "Oh! She must be thinking "pt" is "pint"!"

Again, sorry. The recipe comes from an elderly lady and I surely didn't want to tinker with it. Hopes that clears it up... and lessens your sugar horror! :D

Brin

Kathi said...

I'm so glad your dog is going to be all right. That would scare me too.

I never try fun things like this. I think I will try this one. I love cranberries. Thank you for the recipe.

We are re-doing our bathroom and family room. I cannot wait to have my house back in order again. I sincerely hope you will get to put a new roof on soon. Bless you Brin. Hugs, Kathi

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Don't you love characters? They make life so much richer, and this glogg looks like it competes with the character. Thanks for sharing. We won't tell!

Sheila

Kathy said...

This sounds so good!

We made something called Drunken Cherries before. You also have to start them now, so that they will be ready for the holidays. After the cherries have soaked for weeks, you dip them in chocolate! YUM! You also save the juice to poor over ice cream, pound cake, or whatever else you like.

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

It's pretty in itself...even if I didn't drink any, it sure would be pretty sitting on my counter! Thank you for the kindness of sharing :D.

aj said...

Hello! Just wondering what your exact measurements are for the Christmas Glogg and what size pretty jar you use. I figure your methods have to be tried and true! :) This recipe sounds fantastic!

Tami said...

Let's suffice to say that Christmas Glogg didn't make it to see Christmas. This was great. Thanks again for sharing. This will most definitely be a recipe to make each and every year

Trisha said...

Hi!
Ok, so I must be dense..is it part or pint? I've never made anything like this...help?
Thank you.