A HOMEMADE HOLIDAY ELIXIR
WThe snow was flying outside the portholes while we were docked for the winter in Newport, Rhode Island. Christmas was only a week or so away, and I was really behind with all the holiday things I’d wanted to do — particularly baking cookies. To be honest, though, I’ve never really liked the process of baking batches of cookies. It takes a long time in our small oven aboard Lyra, the Reliance 44 ketch that I live aboard with my husband and two daughters. Staring at the plates of treats we’d already received from friends and dock neighbors convinced me even more that I didn’t actually need to bake cookies, but I still wanted to make a special treat for gifts. What was something that people would actually like and that I could quickly and easily put together in my tiny galley? That evening, I mulled this over while sipping on a cup of coffee and wishing I had a splash of Baileys to add to it. Then the thought occurred to me: How hard could it be to make my own Irish cream? Our friends would definitely appreciate that! § I did a quick Web search to see just what was involved. After a little (delicious) experimentation, I came up with my own version of recipes for both regular and dairy-free Irish cream. A benefit of making this yourself is that you can adjust the flavors and consistency to your liking. Want a hint of coffee? Add some coffee-flavored syrup. Less sweet? Reduce the sweetened condensed milk. Let your taste buds be your guide. The results of my own experiments were definitely dock-neighbor approved!