Chocolate Whiskey Balls and…Christmas Eve Trauma

My parents like to organise holidays for our whole family however lately there have been some comments from my family directed at my family like, ‘But there’s no hospital in the area’, and, ‘But I don’t think the medical centre is open after hours’, and, ‘Do you still have medical insurance?’  It’s as if we’re all requiring regular dialysis.  And we actually don’t have anything wrong with us and I wouldn’t say we’re accident prone it’s just we do seem to end up requiring medical assistance.

Whiskey Balls

Whiskey Balls

The first episode that no one seems willing to forget was when my parents decided to book two holiday houses at Blueys Beach on the NSW North Coast, about a three-hour drive from Sydney.  It was to be a Christmas spectacular and everyone headed up a few days before however with Carl having work booked solidly, we were unable to leave before Christmas Eve.  It was also the Christmas where Santa had decided to give both Archie and Arabella new bikes so the elves somehow had to get those up to the mid-north coast as well.

We arrived slightly haggard and once we’d unpacked we’d heard the plans for a Christmas Eve dinner were to have a low-key fish and chips on the beach.  No harm in that for sure.  We headed out and it was a beautiful evening and we picnicked on the sand with everyone seated behind a brown paper parcel containing their low-key meal.

Very Christmasy but it's never too early to get ready!

Very Christmasy but it’s never too early to get ready!

After the dinner where we all relaxed and Carl and I were starting to unwind and enjoy the precious few days off work, we headed back to the house Carl and I were staying in.  Carl thought he’d help out by taking all the beach towels outside to hang up on the clothes line.  He walked out onto the deck and there was a timber staircase he had to walk down to get to the hills hoist.  All 100kgs (220 pounds) of him were thundering down the stairs when we heard the most almighty roar of a scream and I saw the towels flying in every direction.

Carl came hobbling into the house with a trail of blood following behind him.  It was difficult for us to decipher what was wrong with him as he was shaking and unable to speak.  ‘What is it?’ I asked.

‘My foot’, he managed.

He fell into a chair and I picked up his bloodied foot and to be sure there was a chunk of wood that had gone through the middle part of his foot and pushed through to the other side.  It was a problem.

Well we ran around getting towels to soak up the blood and elevated his foot and thought about what we might have in terms of a medical kit.  But with the elves having to fit sparkling new bikes into the car we certainly didn’t have anything more sophisticated than a band-aid.

Rolled in coconut or crushed walnuts

Rolled in coconut or crushed walnuts

‘Would you like a whiskey?’ I asked.  It wasn’t as silly as it sounds because there wasn’t much more I could offer him.  The local doctors had now shut for the holidays, the pharmacy had closed at 5pm and the closest hospital was a couple of hours away.  We set up a sick bay and washed down his sandy foot but that certainly didn’t take an edge off the pain and then when he’d finished his whiskey, two brother-in-laws held down his leg while I tried to wrench the log from his foot.  Carl screamed.

The log splintered with half of it remaining firmly wedged in his foot and me holding the other piece.  ‘Would you like another whiskey?’ I asked.  There was a skerrick remaining at the bottom of an old bottle and Carl had that too and then in the spirit of the season we sang some Christmas carols then went to bed.

On Christmas morning after the elves had delivered the bikes, I turned to the Yellow Pages and tried to find a nearby doctor.  After almost an hour of trying I was beginning to think this was going to be a fruitless task but then I did find one reluctant doctor who said he would examine his foot as long as we arrived before his turkey was ready to be carved.

We took off at high speed but managed to become lost along the way, missed our appointment by 40 minutes and turned up on his doorstep as the entire family was seated at the table placing their napkins on their laps.  He sent a messenger to the door saying he was now closed however I picked up Carl’s leg and showed him the foot saying, ‘We’re desperate; this has to come out.  He’s in incredible pain’.

And so the messenger went back to the doctor and we saw through the fly-screen that he folded his napkin, got up from the table and ushered us into the treatment room.  ‘We’re so sorry’, I said, ‘But there was a chunk of wood that had lifted from the staircase; an enormous splinter of wood and Carl pushed it through his foot’.

The doctor took pity on poor Carl who despite his huge frame was looking very fragile and he filled up his syringes and injected a lot of anaesthetic into Carl’s foot then dug around and pulled out all the woody bits.  A few sutures later and we were out of there with Carl walking on his heel.

And we arrived back in time for our own turkey that was just surfacing from the oven.

Whiskey can be medicinal but also very good for cooking.  I made these whiskey balls pretty much from leftover ingredients in my fridge.  If you don’t like whiskey you can substitute rum or even freshly squeezed orange juice but if you have a stake pushed from one side of your foot to the other, I’d go with the real thing.

You can coat them in whatever you fancy

You can coat them in whatever you fancy

Whiskey Balls

Makes:  48

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I made these from provisions I had in my fridge/pantry but if you had to buy them, I’d say these would be very affordable given they make great hostess gifts.

  • 1 cup fruit mince (I used my leftover Christmas fruit mince).  Don’t have any fruit mince?  Substitute with 1 cup of sultanas and the rind of 1 orange soaked in 1 tbspn whiskey for 1 hr.  (No need to add the whiskey later on!)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 packet Arrowroot biscuits (250g or 8.8 ounces) crushed (I pounded mine in a plastic bag with a rolling pin) or use any plain sweet biscuit
  • 300g (10.58 ounces) melted chocolate (I melted mine in a bain-marie)
  • 390g (13.75 ounces) can condensed milk
  • 1 tbspn whiskey
  • Ingredients to coat balls (I used shredded coconut and crushed walnuts)

In a large mixing bowl combine fruit mince, coconut and arrowroot biscuit crumbs.  Mix until well combined.  Add melted chocolate, condensed milk and whiskey.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture between your hands then roll in whatever you desire.  I used crushed walnuts and coconut but cocoa can also be used as well as slivered almonds.  Place on tray then allow to harden in fridge for at least an hour.

These are great hostess gifts, after-dinner snacks and something for your Christmas drinks (yes, I’m getting in early!)

If you liked this post, why not share it!


  1. That part of the arch of my foot is still sensitive 17 years later…
    Great Whiskey balls!

  2. Your peeps do get into some trouble, I hope Carl’s foot had no repercussions. I thought doctors could not turn you down, I guess the Hippocratic oath doesn’t mean much any more.
    Your whiskey balls sounds delicious, I like the subtle flavour of whiskey with chocolate. It does sound very festive.

  3. Oh my goodness. Morale of the story I guess is to always have a full bottle of whiskey – for medicinal purposes of course.

  4. Ouch! That is terrible. I would’ve been completely drunk if that had happened to me or if I had to look at it.

  5. Let’s not forget that Carl was a man headed to the clothesline to hang up the towels. I know someone who’d step over them 🙂 Poor thing to get stabbed in the foot when he was doing a good deed.

    I’ll eat one of those whiskey balls in his honour.

  6. I suppose one of the perks of living in NYC is that there is always a doctor around somewhere who is required to see you if you’re in need. otherwise…I can imagine that whiskey can go pretty far in it’s healing properties!

  7. I can’t imagine how Carl made it through the night, even with that whiskey. This splinter through the foot sounds horribly painful.

  8. All those ingredients are straight from heaven, I believe 🙂 And those balls are to die for !

  9. You are a master story-teller, Charlie! What a Christmas to remember.

    PS…your whiskey balls look scrumptious!

  10. Poor Carl … I doubt the whiskey made the pain reduce to more than a dull throbbing. Not a pleasant Christmas by any means. I’m glad I live quite close to 2 hospital/emergency rooms though I’ve only had a sliced left index finger to deal with.

    Great whiskey balls … rum is the alcohol of choice/necessity at my house. 🙂

  11. I cringed as I read this, except for the comments from your family which made me laugh. Poor Carl! I can imagine, though, that these whisky balls would help almost as much as drinking the whisky itself! They remind me of the kind my Mom used to make with bourbon.

  12. Danielle says:

    Yum, yum, yum, it’s never to early for whiskey balls (or medicinal whiskey for that matter). What a fab quick recipe to use up store cupboard ingredients. Gory story, glad it was some time ago!

  13. I felt Carl pain just reading the post. Glad he mended and all ended well. Those whiskey balls sounds like great treat.

  14. Poor Carl, yet you are so darned funny,Charlie.That really was dangerous, you know. Wood bits in a wound that closes could go septic and a nicked bone could have been even worse.
    I’m so glad he is OK, even if it is sensitive.He’s fortunate…that he has a great gal like you.

  15. So easy and such a great snack.. I think you can change up the ingredients a little too, which is always a bonus! 🙂

  16. Ahhh that’s horrible!! On a brighter note, the whiskey balls sound awesome!

  17. I’ve spent many an hour in the emergency room with my husband after one of his silly adventures Charlie, but only a very, very few with my girls- they are much more sensible than he is! I think whiskey was a great idea, you should have kept him in a happy haze weeks you dealt with his foot, then poured some of the spare whiskey into the wound to clean it! Ouch!
    Lovely balls indeed my dear 🙂 xox

  18. G’day Charlie! GREAT Whiskey balls, TRUE!
    Whiskey can solve all “ouches” worldwide too!
    Thank you for sharing your family stories, reminds me of yesteryear,
    Didn’t know where to laugh at the similarities, but instead shed a joyful tear!
    Cheers! Joanne

  19. reading this post made me imagine the wound, cringe! and i love whiskey for its mulipurpose uses!

  20. Charlie that is horrendous. I hope the house owner picked up the medical bill. And yes that situation definitely called for whiskey.

    I must say I am still wondering how you snuck two bikes up there in the back of the car.

  21. I think I cringed through that entire story.. poor Carl!! I can’t imagine the night he had, even with that whiskey!!

  22. One accident, though pretty nasty, would not be enough for your family to ask about emergency medical facilities if your family attends the next family holiday function. You’ve got more stories to tell, don’t you, Charlie? 😉

  23. What a painful story, even to read, Charlie! Poor Carl! And poor all of you, trying to get him the help he needed. Definitely a Christmas you’ll never forget. And I think these chocolate whiskey balls sound wonderful–I would enjoy them, and be happy to think of their “medicinal” properties. I agree with you that it’s never too early to begin getting ready for Christmas. 🙂

  24. Carl must have a pain limit of amazeballs! I bet if he had a tray of these, he would have gotten through the pain even better!

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. Oh dear! Poor Carl! 😮 There do seem to be a lot of hospital visits but I thought that was par for the course for a family of five! 😀

  26. Lol!! I would definitely go with whiskey and having a 24 hour
    Medical centre nearby… Lets just say, when I travel with Mr GG I always check my travel insurance!

  27. Let’s sing the praise of Whisky!
    I never thought it could serve so many purposes in just a few days 🙂
    Great story and great recipe, thank you Charlie!

  28. Poor Carl – I’d have thought maybe the whiskey might have done some good *on* his foot as a disinfectant (although maybe you had something more appropriate for that). The whiskey balls sound good though (and look lovely)!

  29. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  30. These whiskey balls look DELICIOUS. Isn’t this what baking should be? A little bit of alcohol and a whole lot of sweet? I loved hearing your recollections about holidays past…we’ve had our share of “emergencies” at my house too! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Ouch! Why is it always the boys that get hurt? My favourite trip to the ER with the husband was as a result of him trying to make tealight candle holders by smashing the top of a wine bottle off against our front step and using the base of it to hold a candle. There may have been a significant amount of Tequila involved beforehand. He sliced his thumb right down to the tendon on the first attempt. We got it stitched up, but all the scar tissue that formed when it was healing means that his thumb is now permanently bent at a 90 degree angle at the joint. Silly silly boy.

  32. Wow! Your family seems to have a talent for high drama. But how good of the doctor to help anyway, and it sounds a good advertisement for whiskey, reading this.

  33. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you actually wrenched the wood out of his foot… I was feeling freaked out when my son had a pretty bad nose bleed the other night and I am the strong one in the family!

  34. Just reading this story made me cringe, but the thought of those tasty whiskey balls took the edge off! I’m glad Carl’s had 17 years to recover. 🙂

  35. I would eat 10 of those ones covered in coconut in one sitting, lol

  36. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! What a horror – poor Carl. I like whiskey, but not under those circumstances. I’ll have it in the whiskey balls, though. 😉

  37. Goodness, that accident sounds dreadful! That was was awfully good of the Dr. to see you on Christmas! I must say your whiskey balls sound like they would brighten even the worst of days…. 😉 xo

  38. Oh no…ouch! Painful story, and sorry for Carl! It’s one Christmas to remember for a long time. Whiskey balls? My husband next to me got all excited about these desserts. 🙂

  39. That sounds horrrrrrriiiiiiible!!! I can’t imagine the pain. Worst that it had to be on a holiday. The balls look awesome, I made some similar ones during halloween, but no alcohol, lol!

  40. Oh gosh. I feel a bit sick. Poor Carl! I think if I had wood stuck in my foot I would faint and try not to come around until it had all been dealt with :S Some of these whiskey balls would be just the thing for afterwards though…

  41. Oh no! I would have poured the whiskey on his foot but at that stage drinking it was probably a better idea – yikes. These treats sound lovely either way!

  42. What a story to tell! Amai!

    Your whisky balls look insanely tasty too!

Speak Your Mind