Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mama's Bourbon Balls

A post from my personal blog,
originally written December 03, 2009

shhhh... keep the secret inside these walls
mama's been making bourbon balls!
cookie crumbs and cocoa smeared on her dress
powdered sugar everywhere, oh what a mess!

the smell of bourbon still lingers there
all through the kitchen and in her hair
sticky corn syrup all over the floor
on the wood cabinets and even the door

walking a little tipsy, her mind a haze
she talks in riddles and stares in a daze
i won't tell dad but surely he'll know
when he comes home and watches her show

she'll giggle like a school girl, and then deny
that she's been dipping into the bourbon rye
next morning she'll wake up and shyly blush
wonders if we remember, but we keep hush


Now I don’t mean to give readers the wrong idea here- Mom rarely drank alcoholic beverages. For a few years, she drank socially when attending Christmas and New Years parties. I wrote this because I so vividly remember the years that she traditionally made bourbon balls. All jokes aside, our entire kitchen and living area smelled of bourbon for a couple of days. She made several batches of bourbon balls, wrapped them in cheesecloth and placed them in tin cans, sealed tightly, to absorb the fermenting richness of the whiskey. Mom said it was important for the balls to “soak” for about 2 to 3 weeks. She gave them as gifts to her friends and family. 

I remember the trips we made to visit other relatives during the holidays. While traveling, Mom brought along her tin can of bourbon balls and would occasionally open the can to retrieve one. We always knew when the tin can had been opened because the whiskey aroma swooshed over us in the back seat. We often joked with Mom, telling her to lay off the whiskey or pretending we were getting drunk in the back seat. She would just look at us and laugh along. She once allowed us to taste a sampling of her bourbon balls- once is all it took for me, yuck! I didn’t care for them at all and wondered why anyone else would. But, Mom enjoyed making them, and I enjoy the memories of her joyful giving. 

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