On New Year's Eve with broke with tradition a little and did a surprise THURSDAY Food History Happy Hour at 11 PM. Because it was spur of the moment, we didn't really have a specific topic, but we did talk about comparisons between 1920 and 2020, an update about my office/cookbook library, my family New Year's Eve traditions old and new, some of the "lucky" foods of NYE, the Swedish celebrations I grew up with, including Tjuegondag Knut and Sankta Luciasdag, 19th century New Year's menus, what I missed most in 2020, and hopes for 2021.
Vanilla Fig Bourbon Recipe
No historic recipe this time, but the fig bourbon turned out quite nicely! If you want to make your own, here's a nice recipe:
2 cups dried mission figs
1 vanilla bean
bourbon to fill a quart jar
Put the figs in a quart mason jar. Cut the vanilla bean in half and add to the jar. Fill with enough bourbon to cover the fruit. Let age 3-12 months before consuming.
I had some on the rocks with ginger ale. And some of the figs may make their way into a boozy fruitcake at some point.
Not too many this time around, but here are a few to whet your whistle:
The next Food History Happy Hour will be on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST. We're gonna discuss more in-depth January holidays, including revisiting New Year's, Twelfth Night, Tjuegondag Knut, and my birthday, with a discussion of birthday cake history! See you next time.
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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