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DoD Sends 63 Tons of Thanksgiving Meals to Troops

November 14, 1954: President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower receives a turkey from the president of the National Turkey Federation. Ike liked to have a bourbon "punch" in his holiday eggnog. (Eisenhower Presidential Library photo)
November 14, 1954: President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower receives a turkey from the president of the National Turkey Federation. Ike liked to have a bourbon "punch" in his holiday eggnog. (Eisenhower Presidential Library photo)

The Pentagon is sending more than 63 tons of Thanksgiving Day meals to troops in war zones -- all to be washed down by 879 gallons of “buzzless” eggnog that definitely would not pass muster with the late Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook rattled off stats Tuesday on what is being delivered by the Defense Logistics Agency -- 34,760 pounds of turkey, 21,450 pounds of ham, 32,550 pounds of beef, 28,980 pounds of shrimp, 9,114 pounds of stuffing, and the 879 gallons of non-alcoholic eggnog -- for the troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait.

The idea is to make Thanksgiving "as joyous a holiday as possible for those personnel who can't be home with their families," Cook said.

Eisenhower, and other generals going back to George Washington, were particular about what ought to be in the eggnog to set all that holiday cheer in motion. The recipe books say that eggnog with booze added can be called "milk punch" or "egg milk punch."

Ike's recipe made the punch a haymaker.

Last year, to mark Thanksgiving, the National Archives published the eggnog recipe used by Eisenhower, who liked his bourbon even if it had to be put in eggnog for the occasion.

This is what Eisenhower recommended: one dozen egg yolks, one pound granulated sugar, one quart coffee cream, one quart whipping cream, and one quart bourbon (rum or brandy can also be thrown in after the bourbon -- Ike didn't care which, or how much.)

The National Archives included Eisenhower's guide to preparing the concoction: Run all the other stuff through a mixer and then "begin to add the bourbon very slowly."

He said the next step was to "put the whole thing in the ice box until a half-hour before serving."

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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