Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Love Jesus, but I Drink a Little

Christmas 1966: Mom is dazzling in her swingy cream sweater and Dad's kicked back, shoes off, chatting it up with family. Though the photo is crackled and damaged, it somehow adds to the nostalgia of bygone holidays. And perhaps alludes to the confetti of personalities coming together to celebrate the reason of the season: the birth of Jesus and eggnog.


The legendary Amaretto was concocted in this same house around the holidays, but it's Grandma's Eggnog that most screams Christmas. More particularly, it's Christmas Eve and New Years where this milky toddy shines. Measurements were, unfortunately, never quantified in our family recipes—not to sabotage the outcome, but rather in a quintessentially Southern way of assuming the reader inherently knows how many eggs yield appropriate eggnog-tastic results. So embracing that je ne sais quoi sensibility, we begin:

Grandma's Eggnog
2 quarts milk—the only measurement included. If you'd like, use half and half cream to make up some of the requisite 2 quarts.
Eggs, separating whites and yolks—a dozen eggs work for 2 quarts milk
Vanilla extract
Salt
Sugar

In a large pot scald, do not boil, the milk.

Whip egg yolks with a pinch of salt and sugar, starting with roughly ¼ cup of sugar and add from there if it isn't sweet enough. Add this mixture slowly to the scalded milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly so egg clumps don't form in the hot milk. Cook this mixture until it thickens and begins to coat the spoon.

Add vanilla to taste.

Whip egg whites until stiff with 1 tbsp sugar. After the nog has thickened and is cooked, gently fold in the egg whites so they will remain like quarter-sized balls of meringue on top.

For those who like a little "noggy" added, a jigger of Canadian bourbon, straight bourbon or rum should do the trick. Grate nutmeg and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve hot and instantly feel warm and cozy. Leftovers can be refrigerated and drank cold the next morning without alcohol in it. Or with—whatever tickles your fancy!

11 comments:

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

My mom is from the south too and this sounds a little familiar. Even the photo--when I look at these I always wonder what was the going with each one of these people. I may have to try this recipe this year. Hope you have a very merry Christmas Courtney!

xo

Frau said...

Love that granny on Ellen! Your Southerners know all the good drinks! Have a wonderful weekend and Holiday!

Kat said...

That picture is awesome. My parents have some similar ones as well, They are hilarious. I have a retro post scheduled for tomorrow, much to my sisters' chagrin... old pics are so funny!

Vivi said...

Love this picture a lot too because of the condition it's in. It adds to the texture of memory and literally shows us that time is passing as the picture itself ages. I hate the idea of anything happening to my family pictures, but it is a shame that the digital age has taken away the kind of physical frailty that is conveyed in old photos like this... okay, I'm babbling.
And the title of your post? Such a funny reference! That woman on Ellen was the best!

Expats Again said...

We are going to use your recipe here in Australia for our Christmas Holiday....sure beats the Ghluwien in Munich over the holidays...just can't warm up to hot wine and spices--I see headache material all over it!

Jet said...

Your blog is very nice :).I really like it !
Merry Xmas ^^!

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Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I love eggnog! I always thought it would be too hard to make though. Your recipe makes it seem easy, I will have to try it out.

TheBeautyFile said...

This sounds divine, Courtney....and your mother's hair and outfit makes me smile.

christi said...

oh i thought of that lady on ellen with the title! =)

The Rural Socialite said...

Honey, you nailed the southern recipe perfectly. And I could literally die laughing at the title of this post.
I'm a fellow southern gal and am guilty of uttering the phrase, "Just add more (insert ingredient here) until it looks right" during many a recipe-sharing situation.
Can't wait to read more of your posts, and I hope you'll drop by to see mine!

Ocean drift... said...

Courtney, thank you so so much for the eggnog recipe. I had been looking for one all day so I could make it for the first time in my life and we could all try it. Being Albanian, my family and I have never had the pleasure of eggnog but I think this Christmas season will be different, all because of you. Maybe I should tell my uncle living in Malaysia to bring you a thank you card and stalk you for me lool.

Merry Christmas and thank you for your constant wonderful posts.