Molly: Hi and welcome back to Vintage Cookbooks where we’re meeting characters from the new mystery Lawn Order. With me are sisters Margaret and Bitsy, and joining us today is another member of the family, Cousin Leona. Are you comfortable in the rocker, there, Leona? Good. Let’s start off with some history. How many years have you all been appearing in short stories together?
Bitsy: Oh, I can answer that. I’m a bit of a history fanatic, you know. Let’s see . . .
Cousin Leona: Our first story came out in the January 1990 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Molly: Thank you, Leona.
Cousin Leona: You’re welcome. The story was called “My Trouble,” though I’ve never understood why.
Bitsy: I had the answer. If you’d just given me another minute . . .
Cousin Leona: And that’s your trouble dear. In interview situations one doesn’t always have minutes to spare. I believe they like to avoid what they call “dead air.” Am I right?
Molly: Er, yes. In any case, the three of you have been having adventures for quite a few years.
Bitsy: Twenty one! It’s twenty one years!
Margaret: That makes us legal.
Molly: Hey, you’re right. Congratulations. And to celebrate, Cousin Leona has brought a recipe you just might need to be of legal age to drink. What’s that concoction of yours called, Leona?
Cousin Leona: Flaming Tea Bowl and it’s really quite exciting. If I’m not mistaken, the last time we served it for at a Garden Club meeting, Harriet McKinney’s hat caught fire.
Margaret: Did it really? I might want to join the Garden Club after all.
Molly: Ladies, ladies. Thank you for joining us today. Next week we’ll have Officer George Buckles with us and, if I can convince him, his canine partner, Sergeant Lambert.
(from The New, New Can-Opener Cookbook by Poppy Cannon, 1968)
1 quart hot tea (your favorite variety)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons honey
1 cup golden rum
6 – 8 Cinnamon sticks
To 1 quart hot tea, add lemon and honey. Stir well.
At serving time, bring tea to table in chafing dish or casserole which will fit over a heat source (candle-warmer or Sterno) so that it will keep blazing hot. Warm the rum separately, but do not allow to boil. Set rum aflame with match. Pour flaming rum into hot tea and ladle tea into cups or mugs. Place one cinnamon stick in each cup. Serves 6 to 8.