Made With Love

Faulkner: Holiday beverages so good you'll want seconds

First things first when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner: I must decide on my table decorations. Which tablecloth will I use this year? Which napkins will go best?

Festive linens really do make the table more inviting.

I've always wondered what it was about the fourth Thursday in November that made Sarah Hale want to set it aside as a nation day of gratitude in 1863, our first Thanksgiving Day.

For me, every day is one of thanksgiving. I love nothing more than to cook for others and share times of fellowship with family and friends.

When I set about choosing my linens each year, I hum and smile. I go through the collections of Mama and my three aunts. It makes me think of them.

Growing up, each told me about the importance of living and loving. They would tell me giving to others was in my blood -- from my mama's side and from my daddy's side.

Earlier this month I began to prepare my home for guests. I test out dishes and drinks to be served during the meal, and afterward while everyone unwinds in front of the TV.

Before there was television in our homes, we used to play games after the Thanksgiving meal. Mama and I would play checkers. My friends and I would play Sorry and Monopoly.

On my menu is always the old standards: ham and turkey. It was always a given that the turkey would be roasted, but now it can be fried or smoked. In fact, it sometimes seems that people line up around the corner for fried turkeys.

My Thanksgiving menu always includes dishes my children love. My guests often arrive with a favorite dish of their own. There is very little fussing over beverages. The only request is that I always make enough for seconds.

CRANBERRY PUNCH

2 bottles cranberry juice

1 bottle green cherries

2 quarts ginger ale

2 cans Hawaiian Punch

2 quarts freshly brewed tea

1 small bottle almond extract

Sugar

Mix all ingredients, adding sugar to taste. Chill and serve.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

SPICED HOT TEA

5 cups boiling water

5 tea bags

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup strained orange juice

1/2 cup strained lemon juice

6 cloves

1 stick of cinnamon

Pour boiling water over tea bags in crock pot. Steep about 2 minutes. Remove bags and add remaining ingredients. Allow to stay on low for 2-3 hours. Serve hot.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

HOSPITALITY PUNCH

3 cups boiling water

5 tea bags

1 (6-ounce) can frozen concentrated sweetened grape juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups orange juice

4 cups cold water

1 cup sugar

lemon slices for garnish

1 (12-ounce) bottle ginger ale

Pour boiling water over tea bags in teapot. Cover and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and cool. In large punch bowl, combine tea, grape juice concentrate, orange juice, water and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Just before serving add ginger ale; garnish with lemon slices.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.

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