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December 26, 2013

Classic Eggnog

So Christmas has come and gone.  I hope everyone enjoyed some traditions and maybe made some new ones.  I hope you got to spend time with loving/annoying family.  I hope you had some surprises, lots of hugs, and maybe a kiss under the mistletoe.

Alex and I spent Christmas Eve with my family and then drove back to spend Christmas day with his.  It was a jumble of Christmas tree decorating, singing, mass, opening gifts, eating, drinking, talking, and laughing.  And now it’s over. 

I always feel a little empty after a big holiday.  So much anticipation and planning goes into it, and then it ends.  That’s why we need eggnog.  This drink is creamy and comforting.  Make a batch and sip it while enjoying the gifts you received.  Share it with any family that’s still hanging around.

This lightly spiced, lightly spiked drink tastes like the holidays.  Let’s extend the feeling.

Classic Eggnog
From Simply Recipes

2 cups whole milk
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves or 2 whole cloves
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp bourbon (optional)
2 tbsp dark spiced rum (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cinnamon, and cloves and heat over medium until steaming.
 
In the meantime, combine egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk by hand or using an electric mixer until mixture becomes lighter in colour.  Save the egg whites to make a wintery pavlova!

When the milk is steaming, temper the eggs by slowly pouring in some of the hot milk, whisking constantly.  Then pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.  Heat slowly, stirring often, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you want to make sure the eggs are safe and not raw, use a thermometer to make sure the mixture gets to 160F Do not boil or the mixture will curdle.  I suggest not walking away. 

Once the mixture is thickened, remove from heat and let cool for one hour. 

If using whole spices, strain the mixture to remove them at this point.  Stir in the vanilla, nutmeg, and rum/bourbon.  Refrigerate.

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