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Bringing in the New Year
Mr. Mac Marchman
Mac Marchman - photo by Photo provided

An old colonial dessert served this time of year was known as Syllabub. It was offered as a foamy beverage or whipped, chilled and presented as a dessert. The drink was spiked with spirits and was similar to eggnog. The liquor “cooked” the raw egg whites in the concoction. (See accompanying recipe.)

In times gone by, when I was a child, it was common for our church to serve a punch made of chilled ginger ale and sherbet. It became foamy when the carbonated ginger ale was added. The icy cold drink was served in glass punch cups.

For some reason, it was always made with lime sherbet at Holy Trinity. Green was appropriate for Christmas but the mixture was actually adaptable to any sherbet flavor. The late Mr. Mac Marchman, father of Mary Will Long, called the punch “Syllabub.”

He thoroughly enjoyed the punch with Christmas cookies during this season of the year. Mr. Mac would want to get some more of that “Syllabub” as he called it. The women used the punch for their social gatherings, too.

Enjoy your New Year’s festivities but please be safe. Remember on New Years Day to eat your black-eyed peas with hog jowl because it comes from “high on the hog” for good luck. The peas are for coins or wealth. Don’t forget to eat your greens for money (greenbacks). Historic Effingham wishes you good health and happiness in 2013.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at