The holiday season is a special time of year, celebrated with favourite food and drinks, with family and friends.
Of the many beverages and appetizers that help capture the essence of the season, eggnog is probably the first that comes to mind.
Eggnog is a drink that seems to have originated in Britain, from a drink called "posset" - a mixture of eggs, milk, and ale, sherry, or brandy. Posset was served in small, carved wooden mugs, called "noggins." Thus the name "eggnog."
In North America, rum replaced the ale, sherry, or brandy.
Today's eggnog is not necessarily served with alcohol at all, and is a favourite for all ages.
Due to the busy season's hectic schedules, many consumers buy it pre-made in a carton, rather than making it from scratch. Grocery stores also include a light version that is lower in fat, and at some locations, a no-fat variety.
However, making eggnog from scratch adds an old-world classic touch to your celebrations, and the taste is incredible.
This recipe is my gift to you. This eggnog is so rich and fresh tasting that any store-bought variety will shadow in comparison. If you can, try to buy whole nutmeg and grate it fresh, versus pre-ground, as a garnish. Essential oils of the nutmeg are released upon grating, adding an extra aromatic essence to your mug of holiday cheer.
Food and beverages are a great social aspect of bringing people together, and even more wonderful when you have made them from scratch.
Seasonal beverages do not have to contain alcohol to be enjoyable. A heated cranberry or grape juice, for example, with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and star anise can replace mulled wine. And there are many choices of fantastic herbal teas and syrups for coffees that capture the essence of the season beautifully.
Whatever beverage you choose to help celebrate during the holidays with your cuisine, please drink responsibly and have a magnificent time.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth.
Mix in one cup of whipping cream, the milk, nutmeg, and salt until completely combined.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. For a more temperate heat, make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture constantly, until it reaches 175ºF.
Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately chill uncovered in the refrigerator until cold.
While the mixture is cooling, whisk the remaining cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Once the egg mixture is cold, gradually fold it in.
Stir in the rum, pour into glasses, and garnish with more freshly grated nutmeg.
Makes just over 5 cups
. Watch for more recipes in Thursday's paper
Recipe created by Chef Dez Gordon Desormeaux
The constant stirring of the egg mixture while it is cooking is vital to ensure that the eggs don't become scrambled eggs.
6 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 additional cup whipping cream
6 tbsp. dark or spiced rum
Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to email@example.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4