Christmas Trivia and George Washington’s Eggnog

George Washington

For many years, prior to and while I worked at the Capitol, I was the recipe editor and Christmas special section writer for ECM’s Forest Lake Times, North Branch Post Review and the St. Croix Valley Peach. For many years I had my own column. One year my editor told me to get a great interview for Christmas. On a lark, I called Governor Arne Carlson’s Office and asked for an interview. At that time he owned a home in Forest Lake. Not only did I get the interview…I was invited to have lunch with him at the governor’s mansion. He loved my column and wanted to meet me.

I believe that it is best to ask the most important question first when doing an interview. So I asked him if he liked lutefisk. “No”, he shouted. We had a long and lovely lunch.

Here is some Christmas trivia from the year 2000 copy and George Washington’s recipe for eggnog.

Christmas Trivia:

It was in 350 A.D that Julius I, Bishop of Rome chose December 25 to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.

The first Christmas tree decorated in the White House was during the Franklin Pierce Administration.

Calvin Coolidge in 1923 lit the first Christmas tree on the White House lawn.

When it pays to send the best… The first official White House Christmas card was sent by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He asked a friend, Joyce. C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, for help. Hallmark has supplied the official presidential holiday cards ever since.

The first tinsel was made in 1878 and distributed in Nuremberg, Germany. These icicles were made from thin strips of silver foil and became a huge success in America.

Angel hair is spun glass and was first made in 1880. Germans used it to make garlands to decorate their homes. Americans tended to just toss it all over their Christmas tree for an overall frosty effect.

The first Christmas tree to sport electric lights was illuminated in 1882 and and stood in the home of Edward Johnson, a New York resident and friend of Thomas Edison.

There are over one hundred and forty different types of Holly. Holly grows all over the world and is often used as a decoration for winter holidays. Because it sets fruit in the winter it became a symbol for immortality. To Christians holly’s thorns represent the crown of thorns that Christ wore on the cross. The red berries represent his blood.

To estimate how many lights you will need on your Christmas tree, simply multiply the height of the tree times the width of the tree at its widest part times 3.

George Washington’s Eggnog

1 quart of milk, (from your own cows)
1 quart of cream, (skimmed from the milk from your own cows)
1 dozen eggs, (from your own chickens)
1 dozen tablespoons sugar
1 pint of brandy
½ pint rye whiskey
¼ pint Jamaica or New England rum (nothing from England, please)
¼ pint sherry

Mix liquor first. Separate yolks and whites of eggs. Beat the yolks. Then, add sugar to beaten yolks. Mix well. Add liquor mixture, drop by drop at first, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture, Let set in cool place for several days.

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