Tuesday, December 26, 2006

let there be NOG

Having never made eggnog of any variety before, and having been raised largely on the store-bought variety, I wasn't sure what to expect when attempting to make the sacred libation myself. I typed "non-alcoholic eggnog" into Google a few days ago, and was surprised to be confronted with a billion different noggish recipes. The question then became: which one to follow?

I eventually chose this one:

Basic Non-alcoholic Eggnog

12 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart cream
to taste vanilla
dash of nutmeg

Separate eggs at room temp. Beat yolks till creamed with about half of sugar, whites till peaked then add other half of sugar. Beat cream till stiff. Then fold all together. Add vanilla to taste - but remember that a little bit of vanilla goes a long way.

Place into containers keep in refrigerator for at least one day. Shake before serving.

I took a risk and ignored the whole yolk/white separation thing. I also skipped the sugar because the Korean cream I had bought was already sweetened. And since the only vanilla I had was artificial, that's what I used. All three risks paid off-- I ended up with a perfectly drinkable nog. Come to think of it, the only part of the recipe to which I was faithful was the nutmeg. And even there, I simply eyeballed: substantially more than "a dash" went into the brew.

Some pics:

Many thanks to Max for his amazing and durable little mixer. That thing has come in handy any number of times, and this was one of them.

It was basically a matter of combining ingredients and blasting them with the mixer. I started off with pulsing, then moved to full-on mixing. The result was perfect. (I used whipping cream, by the way.)

Above, you see me pouring portions of the nog into a larger container. The hand mixer is too small to mix everything at once. Below, I use a wire whisk to mix everything and ensure a proper distribution of the egg.

This final pic, below, shows the completed nog along with one of the cookies I ended up slaughtering. Nog and cookie sit on an old draft of the introduction I had written for Water from a Skull (no news yet!). I changed the font and page dimensions, so what you see there does not reflect the book's final look.

I hope Christmas was good for you. I was happy to host a coworker for a little while; we talked about life in general for around an hour or so. I also had work to do-- given to me by a friend who is now in the Philippines, soakin' up the rays. I also had the chance to speak for about an hour with my parents-- Dad, mostly. My brothers were still asleep: David is dead tired from working seven days a week, and Sean had a few Christmas gigs (you'll recall he's a professional cellist). Both brothers deserve some rest.

As for me, I can't tell if my quiet, solitary lifestyle is transforming me more into Bob Cratchit or into Ebenezer Scrooge.

This week promises to be busy: I've got a ton of lesson plans to complete before the semester starts on Tuesday of next week (2 Jan).


No comments: