Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Eggnog (and other ’09 Christmas Feasts)

Book: Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking: Beery & Wine Cookery Theme: Christmas Recipe: Egg Nog

I would like to (belatedly) wish everyone a happy Christmas but more importantly now that Christmas is over, a much more fabulous New Year than the last. So let’s get our Cookbook Challenge out of the way first, shall we?

We have our Christmas at lunch at Josh’s nana and grandpa’s every year and it’s always the same food – roast lamb, roast chicken, potatoes, pumpkins, peas, carrots, cauliflower with cheese sauce and gravy. For desserts we usually have pavlova, apple crumble, plum pudding and custard. And I never have to cook. It’s awesome. So this year, Jenny had put me in charge of drinks so I figure I might do the Cookbook Challenge all in one hit (two birds and all that).

I have to say I thoroughly cheated and not follow the ingredients and measurements and instructions on this recipe at all. But hey, it’s Christmas. Or something. Any excuse will do. Also I was worried about Josh’s grandparents consuming raw eggs so I made an executive decision to make cooked eggnog and not raw.

Makes about 1.25 litres of egg nog (for about 10 – 15 guests)

  1. 1 litre of full cream milk *
  2. 6 eggs, separated
  3. 1/3 cup of cream
  4. 2/3 cups of sugar
  5. 1 tsp of vanilla concentrate (i.e. 2 tsp of vanilla extract)
  6. 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  8. Optional alcohol: brandy, rum, whiskey

Heat the milk, cream, vanilla extract and spices on very low heat until hot but not boiling, stir every now and then. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar until soft peak formed, set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar in a large bowl (large enough for the milk as well) until the mixture is pale and creamy, set aside.

In the large bowl, very slowly pour some of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking vigorously so the egg yolks do not scramble. Keep pouring and whisking until the custard is smooth. Return this back to the heat for a few minutes to reheat until hot again.

Follow the same steps with the egg whites by slowly pouring hot eggnog into the egg whites to cook it and keep whisking. We will use this froth as topping so make sure you don’t beat all the air out of it. Don’t place the egg whites on the stove though.

To serve, ladle hot eggnog mixture into a cup (I’m told crystal punch mugs are the traditional choice), spoon over the egg white mixture and sprinkle with some more nutmeg. I set the alcohol aside for those who wanted it to add their own. I recommend about a teaspoon full of alcohol of choice (I like brandy best) for a little punch cup size serve. I bought those little mini bar sized bottles of spirits because I can never drink those brown spirits but in eggnog?  Yum.

And now, let’s move on to the rest of the feasts (note plural). Backtracking a bit, I made Josh a Christmas special breakfast: French toasts made from Turkish pide, topped with sliced bananas, raspberries, maple syrup and dusted with icing sugar. Josh said ‘if anyone ever tells you you’re a bad wife, let me know and I will hit them.’ Awww.

(Nana’s fruit punch)

Nana’s fruit punch consisted of mixed fruit juice (orange, pineapple, etc.), lemonade, ginger ale (I can’t say I’m a fan), strawberries, passionfruit pulp (none this year, don’t know why) and some fresh mint.

Roast lamb – plain. Cooked on the barbie this year. Slightly overcooked to my liking but definitely a tiny trace of pink in the middle. First time ever. I was so stoked.

My plate with roast lamb (the fatty bits, yum), roast chicken (the skinny bits, yum), peas, carrots, pumpkin and cauliflower with white sauce. I skipped potatoes. And lots of gravy. Yum.

Christmas pudding and apple crumble with custard. I actually poured a lot of brandy over one piece and lit it. It was awesome. It smelled beautiful but it had too much brandy in it so Jonny ate it (he’s the family garbage guts. I can probably out-eat him but damn he eats ANYTHING). No pavlova this year. I was so disappointed.

For dinner, we went over to Adam’s parents. I had cold ham, left over roast chicken, roast pork, rice salad, crunchy noodle and cabbage salad (my favourite, must get recipe), seafood sticks (yes I know, I know), and coleslaw.

I also took over the gingerbread house that I bought from Purebread Bakery made myself because I figured Adam’s little cousins would like them. Except I didn’t expect the kids to have grown up. Ah well. It’s only been two years and they grow up so fast. I must be getting old.

So are you thinking – wait that’s not a lot of food? Well, I had seconds, okay? Christmas, you gotta love it.

* Josh had kindly reminded me about 2 minutes before we head off that Jenny is really lactose intolerant. As in really lactose intolerant and will throw up as opposed to the omg-I’m-like-soooo-sensitive-to-dairy-I-have-to-have-soy-milk-in-my-fairtrade-organic-latte-otherwise-I-get-bloated type of lactose intolerance. So I would have made it out of full cream goat’s milk instead (and omit cream) but it was Christmas and there was no way I could get goat’s milk.

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