We were sipping Tom and Jerry this Christmas Eve afternoon when I asked the husband if he drank them at the holidays as a child. “No,” came his prompt response. Followed by a smirk. I felt compelled to explain, “Well, there was no added booze. It was just the batter. And milk.” I grinned, recognizing that the batter has rum in it, albeit just a snidge. “I’ll bet I slept better than you on Christmas Eve.”
Christmas Eve was the night when I was a kid. We’d all gather at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. The presents spilled out from the tree like a ridiculous waterfall. And the sound as we walked through the door? Hand beaters on a glass bowl. Grandpa in the kitchen making the batter for Tom and Jerry. Assorted mugs lined up on the counter. Booze for the grownups. No booze for the kids. No nutmeg for Grandma or Mom. McCormack’s red, blue and white spice can on the counter. Milk heating in the big box microwave in a large glass measuring cup.
Christmas is love. And treasured memories. And Mitch Miller on the stereo. And toasting family, here and gone, with a sweet mug of Tom and Jerry.
Tom & Jerry
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
6 large eggs
6 tblsp rum
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Equal parts whiskey, rum and brandy
Separate the eggs. Yolks in one bowl, whites in another. Using a hand mixer, mix the egg yolks, rum, powdered sugar and nutmeg. The mixture should be thick, but not ridiculously so. Wash the beaters and turn your attention to the egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form, adding cream of tartar when the first start to foam.
The ratios are purely based on taste. I put a jigger of the booze mix and three spoonfuls of the batter into each mug, topped it with hot milk, stirred, tasted and was pretty happy with the outcome. I grated whole nutmeg on top. Merry Christmas Eve, friends.