This weekend, as the twelve days of Christmas reached their midpoint,
we went exploring around the Shire.
But the weather was cold and rainy one day,
making everything dreadfully damp and chilly.
Regardless, we climbed to the grassy top of old Fort Monroe,
which gave us a vantage point across the Moat, Chesapeake Bay,
and the convergence of waters known as Hampton Roads.
From this height, we could also see the old Chamberlin Hotel
in the distance:
In the warmth of the Casemate Museum's gift shop,
I found a cookbook called Virginia Hospitality
which contained new and old recipes over 200 years.
It's a great combination of history and cookery.
One of those recipes was for a Hot Toddy,
which I had always heard of, but knew few details about.
According to the Cookbook,
rum was an important and popular drink for the Virginia colonists.
So in homage to a cold and rainy day in the Virginia shires,
and to what is commonly celebrated today as New Year's Eve,
here's a vintage Virginia recipe
to ward off the cold and welcome in the New Year:
2-3 ounces of rum, light or dark
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
2 whole cloves
1 slice of lemon
Place a silver spoon in a small glass or mug.
Add rum, sugar, cloves, and lemon slice.
Pour in boiling water, stir and serve.
For those who prefer a few more calories,
one tablespoon of butter can be added before the water is poured in.
That creates the traditional Hot Buttered Toddy.
Here's a quote from p. 31 of the Cookbook:
"Rum in your toddy is good for a cold.
Or whatever else ails you--or so I am told."
Virginia Hospitality is produced by the Junior League of Hampton Roads,
729 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Suite 4D
Newport News, VA 23606.
Copyright 1975. Manufactured by Favorite Recipes Press, Nashville Tennessee
It would make a lovely gift to be given
during the twelve days of Christmas, or any day.