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There’s a legend passed down in my family lore, of a General dying in the Civil War.
Wounded he lay, in the damp of the moor, as Great Grandma Josie helped him endure.
Perhaps they were lovers, cousins or friends, young girl Josie helped make his amends.
A dying wish with a conscience to cleanse, and gratitude to spend, to tie up loose ends.
As Josie knelt close, his head in her lap, he asked her to search the seam in his cap.
Gently she pried the folds of the flap, for a folded up message scrawled on a scrap.
What it conveyed was precious like gold, a recipe held secret, for egg nog I was told.
“Promise not to spindle, mutilate or fold, but entrust it to the safety of your household.”
All around the couple the battle raged on, in the twilight of the morning just before dawn.
He slipped away bravely quiet as a fawn, a last sigh was uttered and then he was gone.
Tucking the treasure close to her breast, Josie ran through fire with no bullet proof vest.
Not fearing for her life as you might have guessed, she just couldn’t wait to put it to test.
Through the mine fields strewn with danger, past the entrenchments an enemy stranger.
One hundred years before the Lone Ranger, Great Grandma Josie ran for the manger.
Though the bullets were flying deadly with harm, past the sentries sounding the alarm,
Protected by the magic of the recipe’s charm, she made to the safety of the family farm.
In the dimly lit kitchen by the light of the lamp, Josie read the wording faded and damp.
Simple ingredients, plenty in the camp, all that was needed for young Josie the scamp.
Grab ya fifteen eggs, no more no less, a pound of powdered sugar don’t make a mess.
Beat the eggs in a bowl with love and finesse, fold in the sugar as a work in progress.
Next on the list for her “Modus Operandi”, Josie needed to add two pints of Brandy.
Luckily she knew where a gallon was handy, He’d never miss it thanks to her Grandee.
She poured it in slowly and stirred it about, following the recipe with out any doubt.
Saintly as a nun and surly as devout. Hardly she could wait, to try some of it out.
She needed three pints of dark Jamaican rum. Oddly knowing, she could find some
In the rear of the shed, a fifty-five gallon drum. She ladled just enough, a principle sum.
Always stirring with a couple of sticks, while ever so slowly she trickled the fix.
Not wanting to burn the delicate mix, for the eggs in the batch must come to grips.
Excitement was mounting to a heightened draw, the final ingredient, the Coup de Gras.
Two pints of heavy cream mixed in the raw, an elixir for even the snobbiest bourgeois.
Pour it in a jug and protect from the frost, perhaps in the cellar where it won’t get lost.
Keep it a secret whatever the cost, until the time when you share it for all to get sauced.
Great Grandma knew eventually some day, her secret would be shared in a special way
Her gift is so precious, my Grandad would say “From a cup or a mug it’s Anchors Away”.
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"A Civil War Egg Nog Recipe" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/62237/a-civil-war-egg-nog-recipe>.