Sunday, December 14, 2008

what is a nog?

every year (well, almost every year. more on that later) when we decorate the christmas tree my family drinks homemade eggnog. it must be from the candy cane cups. it is the only day of the year we make eggnog and the only day we use the candy cane cups.what exactly is a nog anyway? the origin is unclear. some believe “nog” refers to a noggin, which was a wooden mug that was used to serve drinks in taverns. others think eggnog is related to various milk and wine punches from england (called "posset"), but in america rum was used in the place of wine. rum came to america via the triangular trade from the caribbean; thus it was more affordable than the heavily taxed brandy or other European spirits. in colonial america, rum was commonly called "grog", so the name eggnog could be derived from the term for this drink, "egg-and-grog", which corrupted to egg'n'grog and soon to eggnog.

either way, it is a family favorite. here is our recipe, taken from mccall's cook book, 1963. my parents started my sister and i on this as kids, so there is no rum in our version.

spicy eggnog

1/2 cup sugar

dash allspice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs, separated

2 cups milk, chilled

1 cup light cream, chilled

nutmeg for sprinkling

1. combine sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl, set aside.

2. in large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

3. gradually beat in half of sugar mixture until stiff peaks form.

4. in small bowl, beat egg yolks until lemon colored. gradually beat in remaining sugar mixture until thick and smooth.

5. thoroughly fold into whites. stir in milk and cream; mix well.

6. serve well chilled, each serving sprinkled with nutmeg.

frothy and delicious! although i do have to admit, this year i cheated and served hood's sugar cookie eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg. it was ok. this was pretty much a sin, but when we got around to the tree decorating at 9pm, a carton and a sprinkle was all the eggnog i could muster.

ps. the christmas tree lights blew a fuse.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

the stairs seem like an impractical place to leave your christmas tree