16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, December 5, 1911: We are going to have an entertainment on the fifteenth, the Friday before vacation, and I’m to take part in a dialogue of no great length. Such bewildering problems as we are having in Algebra is enough to turn your head.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Apparently the students were going to put to put on a small Christmas play on the 15th –or at least say the parts of various characters. [An aside—When I think of a dialogue I think of the Abbott and Costello dialogue about the baseball players—Who’s on first, What’s on second, I don’t know’s on third—though it’s from a later time period.]
Maybe Grandma took a break from the bewildering algebra problems to make a calming hot drink.
I found an awesome recipe for Mulled Fig Juice (Ginger Cordial) while browsing through the December 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.
Mulled Fig Juice reminded me a little of Mulled Cider, but the taste is more nuanced and complex. I’d highly recommend it for holiday parties—or for a great hot drink after sledding or cross-country skiing.
Mulled Fig Juice (Ginger Cordial)
1/2 pound figs (I used mission figs.)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Dash of ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3 pints ginger ale (about 1 1/2 liters)
1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in a small amount of water
Peel from an orange (for garnish)
Stew slowly together the figs, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and sufficient water to cover the other ingredients. When the figs are tender remove from heat and pour through a strainer. (The stewed figs taste good, and can be saved and eaten separately.)
Return the juice to the saucepan. Add the ginger ale; and return to the heat; when hot stir in the corn starch dissolved in water. Continue stirring until it comes to a boil; reduce heat. Serve in small cups; garnish with orange peel. [I used a vegetable peeler to remove some zest from an orange in long wide strips, I removed any pith, and then julienned the zest into long narrow strips.]
Adapted from “Hot Drinks for the Holiday Season”, Good Housekeeping, December 1911