OZY's Ultimate Holiday Homemaker Guide: The Tom & Jerry
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because overindulgence is what the holidays are all about.
By Michael Gray
From our family to yours, OZY staff share their favorite time-honored holiday recipes to keep you warm, stuffed and slightly buzzed all season.
As a kid growing up in the 1960s, I got a lot of mileage out of telling schoolmates that my uncle was Ed Sullivan. The Ed Sullivan, of course, was TV’s variety-show czar, the guy who introduced America to the Beatles, Richard Pryor and all those freak contortionists and plate-spinners. My Ed Sullivan was my eldest aunt’s gregarious husband and our family’s holiday emcee, the man who gave us the recipe for perhaps the most dangerous beverage of all time: Tom & Jerry.
Imagine, if you will, the most viscous, teeth-achingly sweet, nutritionally bankrupt beverage you could possibly imbibe, ladled into a mug and mercifully thinned with a bit of hot water. Eggnog is child’s play compared with this, especially if you had the adult version: spiked with, according to Uncle Ed’s carefully typewritten instructions, a jigger of equal parts rum and brandy. This made any slowing of the heart valves nearly unnoticeable.
The ingredients for the “batter” could not be more elemental: eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg and your booze of choice. (Yes, this contains raw eggs; I apologize. But I’ve lived to tell about it.) Correctly merged, the resulting mixture resembles pancake batter, or maybe epoxy. Uncle Ed’s recipe could make a barrelful, as I recall. And there were plenty of folks to help empty it. My dad had eight siblings, most of whom had kids, and our annual Christmas Day gathering at the family homestead included in-laws, distant cousins, friends, neighbors — anyone without a place to go. Tom & Jerrys were the glue that held the group together. After one or two, the adults were relaxed and the kids swooning from the sugary high.
Uncle Ed has been gone for decades now. But if you dare to sample his recipe this season, drink a toast to his memory. And another to your health — you’ll need it.
Ingredients (makes 16 servings)
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated (white) sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg (plus more for garnish)
1 pinch baking soda
Bottle of rum
Bottle of brandy
Separate egg whites and yolks into two large bowls. Beat whites until good and stiff. Add granulated sugar to whites and beat, beat, beat until thick.
Beat yolks until smooth. Add brown sugar to yolks and beat, beat, beat until thick.
Combine whites and yolks. Add nutmeg and baking soda, and beat until thick, smooth and creamy.
To serve: Pour one jigger equal parts rum and brandy into a mug. Add a large spoonful of batter. Pour in hot water to fill mug. Sprinkle with nutmeg and stir with a small spoon before drinking. Stir … drink … stir … drink!
- Michael Gray, OZY Author Contact Michael Gray