The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had an opportunity to visit The Enchanted Forest, a fundraiser for The Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) to do some social media outreach for them. The event is their primary fundraiser for the year, and proceeds go to community programs that they support, including back-to-school health fairs and backpacks, Girls on the Run, area family shelters, Kids Can, Kids in the Kitchen, Reach Out and Read, and a number of other programs that support children.
The Junior League was founded in 1901 and has grown into a massive volunteer organization with 293 leagues encompassing 155,000 women who have given their time and talent to make a difference in their communities. The League trains women and helps them develop a skillset that makes them effective leaders, prepared to nurture partnerships within their communities to address urgent needs. And the list of famous members of the League reads like a Who’s Who of influential women: Julia Child, Sandra Day O’Connor, Eleanor Roosevelt, several other first ladies, and a number of women serving as U.S. Representatives and Senators.
In addition to the Enchanted Forest, the JLNV does several other fundraisers throughout the year, including their cookbook, What Can I Bring?, which has some great recipes for entertaining. I got to sample some of the famous Black Russian Cake while at The Enchanted Forest event, and I highly recommend that dessert, as well as the black-eyed pea dip, cream of carrot and lemon soup, sweet potato rolls, chocolate pecan chess tart, and many other dishes in the book. And I couldn’t pass up the Irish Coffee Eggnog recipe (below), which is perfect for holiday parties.
I can’t say enough about the good that Junior League does for children in our communities. If you have a League in your area, check them out and find a way to support their mission. Many Leagues have cookbooks that they sell locally or online, and the proceeds from the cookbook sales go to the programs that the League supports.
- 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) hot brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
- 1 quart (~1 liter) commercial eggnog
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) Irish cream liqueur (Carolans is my favorite.)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) brandy
- In the measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in the hot coffee, adding the sugar a little at a time. Pour the coffee mixture into the pitcher, and then stir in the eggnog, Irish cream liqueur, and brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.
2-quart glass pitcher
2 cup glass measuring cup
This tasty cocktail is quick to make, and guaranteed to please the eggnog lovers at your holiday party. I use and recommend Carolans Irish Cream because I prefer the lighter texture and the honey, but of course you can use your preferred brand.