Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 20 Christmas Parties Curing Laryngitis


Holiday parties, a neighborhood open house, buffets – all these take place in abundance during Christmastime. Do you throw a party each year or did your family throw parties around Christmas? Any special theme like Ugly Christmas Sweater or perhaps a gift wrapping or cookie decorating party?
The year we got married, Dave and I hosted an open house in our tiny apartment.  We lived on the second floor of an old farmhouse in a fairly rural area.  We invited everyone we knew.  Rather than an open bar, we elected to serve punch and hors d'oeuvres.  

After consulting his Mr Boston book, Dave selected a recipe to use and went off to the liquor store for the ingredients. These included red wine, brandy, rum, and champagne.  Oranges and lemon juice added some extra flavor along with simple syrup and soda water.  The punch made 42 servings.

 We combined all the ingredients in a punch bowl and added an ice ring to chill the punch.  The kitchen table (the only table we had) held the punch bowl along with the hors d'oeuvres.  In those years the hors d'oeuvres consisted of little square slices of rye bread called party rye with liver sausage of smoked sausage on top, cheese logs and crackers, chips and dips, and possibly mini-meatballs in cocktail sauce.

Dave's mother had a history of getting laryngitis every winter and it lasted for months.  She was one of the guests at the party and enjoyed the punch along with the rest of us.  
As the day grew longer, we realized that Wanda's voice was getting stronger,  Slowly but surely her laryngitis was leaving!  By the end of the evening the laryngitis had totally disappeared.  In following years when the laryngitis threatened, we would suggest recreating the punch.  The threat alone did the job of curing the laryngitis.