Tis the Season to be Jolly…?
December 16, 2008 3 Comments
I’m not a huge fan of the holidays, which sounds incredibly Grinchy, I know, with Christmas being next week and Chicago looking like a postcard wonderland right now (which is part of the reason I’m kind of over the whole decking of halls thing). There are parts of the season I like—the music, the lights, wrapping presents in happy paper—but the stores that jack the heat up so that you’ll just grab the first (and usually most expensive) thing you see, the bell ringers on every corner and the forced gaiety of company holiday parties bring out the bah-humbug in me.
The bright spot in all of the madness is the thought of all of the holiday treats floating around everywhere you turn. Walking into someone’s house and swooning at the smell of braised meats and roasted vegetables, or ordering a huge slice of red velvet cake in a festive restaurant, or discovering a box of mint truffles at work, or even better, waking up on Christmas morning knowing that a day of food and hopefully happiness awaits, is enough to get me to break out the tinsel and dive wholeheartedly into the season.
I had all these grand plans at the beginning of the month to update this lovely blog with my fave holiday recipes, but as we’ve already discussed, the road to hell is paved with my ability to procrastinate. So I’ve had to pick the very very faves as we count down to 2009, and I’m starting with a drink, since it’s been that kind of day.
My grandfather—the Jamaican one—would wake up my mom, aunt and uncle when they were growing up and have them drink a version of eggnog to combat the cold New York winters and all the other things that may have ailed them. From my mother’s face when she tells me about it, there was very little to feel cheery about as she dutifully swallowed this remedy, but the idea that a little egg, milk, sugar and cinnamon can make things better was enough for me to try my own recipe and forget about the store-bought version. Here’s to drinking your dinner after a long trek home in the first big storm of the year…
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups each of whole and 2% milk (can use all whole milk for a thicker version)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
To make things really festive, add ½ cup of rum for 4 cups of eggnog before chilling
Beat eggs, sugar and salt together in top part of a double boiler (can use a bowl set over saucepan with gently boiling water). Stir in ½ of the milk. Cook until mixture is thick and thinly coats a spoon, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the last of the milk and the vanilla. Cover and chill overnight. Serve with a dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon.