During the holidays, I have a tendency to get caught up in a whirlwind of shopping, mailing and baking. No matter how I try to plan ahead and arrange my schedule to include Christmas parties and other seasonal events, I usually end up in a quandary. Time, like the wind, has a way of sweeping past me, oftentimes carrying me along for a ride to who knows where. Before I know it, I’m sitting in the middle of my floor, wrapping presents, trying to keep from saying “Parlay”.
Oh, I had grand plans this year, I swear. Me, and my crew, were going to set sail in smooth waters, shop, enjoy, and have our gifts wrapped way before Santa arrived. December is always a busy month and this year even more so as Book Two in my Nelson’s Tea Series was due by the end of December. But an amazing thing happened! I learned that my contemporary Lost Treasure, Captive Princess had been moved up to a publishing date of March 4, 2013. The Rogue’s Prize, which had originally been slated for March, was moved back to May 2013. Faced with new deadlines, I did a double-take as my edits for LTCP arrived, due January 7th. During this switcheroo, Christmas jumped my bones. (Pardon the pun) And I nearly panicked when I discovered, to my horror, my present tally was off.
Arrr!!! More shopping needed! (Pirate hand flail!)
My kind of Christmas & New Year’s lunacy is world-renowned, me hearties. My perfectionist personality won’t allow me to relax. Unlike Jack, who can get himself out of any scrape and make it look like he planned it, I actually have to work at it. Double Arrrr!!!
Speaking of Jack Sparrow… Here’s a man who knows how to cast off his cares, concerns and travails without blinking an eye. How? The answer to any pirate’s problems, my friends, is… rum. While I have (Ahem…) a few varieties in my cabin, it’s fairly obvious rum and brandy boost a pirate’s morale or anyone else’s for that matter. Could this be why the rum is always gone?
But I digress…
For pirates, as a whole, rum was a reward, and a means of camouflaging dirty water = grog. According to Piratepedia by Alicia Niehaus & Alan Hecker, grog was a very popular rum and water drink named for Admiral Edward Vernon, who got the nickname “Old Grog” from a grogham coat he wore.”
Rum, me hearties, was cherished by one and all. It was especially sought after during shore leave, bracing when cold seeped into the bones, and its navigating abilities have proven to help Jack escape danger time and time again.
Rum, according to The Pirate Primer, Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers & Rogues by George Choundas, is an “alcoholic liquor distilled from fermented sugar cane molasses. It’s the preferred drink of pirates, and—like sailing ships and gold—a sine qua non of pirate life.”
Since December has been designated a month to celebrate food here at Teatime Romance, I thought I’d focus on rum recipes. Why not experience the joy of pirates in your own home, eh?
The Food Network has some great recipes for Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail, Puerto Rican Coconut Milk Rum Christmas Drink Coquito, Rum Cake (my mother makes a delicious version), Rum Balls and Rum Punch. Give these a try, me hearties!
Have you ever wished rum could have helped you get out of a dangerous or ridiculous situation, aka Jack style? Do you have a favorite rum recipe?
One lucky commenter will win three autographed books by Katharine Ashe—How to Be a Proper Lady —How a Lady Weds a Rogue—When a Scot Loves a Lady. Good luck!!!