December 25, 2013

From these four ingredients, eggnog will spring forth. Amazing, but true. Generally I'm happy with the carton but I heard about this recipe on NPR from Garden and Gun Magazine's "Handy Guide to Surviving the Holidays" and couldn't resist... from the article:

This recipe comes from Mimi Bowen, who grew up in Memphis and who owns a fabulous New Orleans boutique that bears her name. The recipe comes from Mimi's grandmother and namesake Myrium Dinkins Robinson via her aunt, Lynn Robinson Williams, whom Mimi calls the 'Auntie Mame of Memphis.' 

Aunt Lynn, who died in her bed on her ninety-sixth birthday with both a cigarette and a glass of
champagne in hand, sounds like someone I would've actually enjoyed spending the holidays
with. Well into her eighties when she finally passed the recipe along to Mimi, she put it in the
mail with a note reading, "For your file. Don't lose it." I reprint it here exactly as she typed it.

2¼ cups sugar
12 large egg yolks
8 cups whipping cream
Pour bourbon into large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar and let sit several hours. Overnight, if you can wait. Beat egg yolks until they are an ugly yellow color. Fold them into the bourbon and sugar mixture. Let sit for two hours if you can wait. Whip the cream until very stiff, fold into the bourbon and egg mixture. Let sit for one hour if you can wait. Mixture may be cut in half if you are clever enough to know how to divide 2¼ by two! Serve in cups. Serves 20-30 people.
Nutmeg not permitted! ENJOY.
So I began the saga yesterday morning with sugar and bourbon. Simple enough, pour sugar into bourbon and mix. Let it sit. It might seem like a lot of sugar and bourbon. Well, it is. One whole bottle, to be exact, was more like 3.5 cups. But it was plenty boozy in the end.

Several hours later, the sugar had started to dissolve into the booze. I only let it sit for 3 hours or so. Not sure how much better it could get if you let it sit overnight, but maybe worth a try.

Next up, separating egg yolks and beating to an 'ugly yellow color'. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but wanting to stay true to form I did all the whipping and beating with a wire whisk. Next time I'll probably use a hand crank mixer at least. My shoulders really got a workout yesterday. I also have a Tupperware container full of egg yolks in the fridge to make omelettes with tomorrow.

At this point, I noticed the recipe says it serves 20-30 people. Some easy math showed we were only going to have 5 people over for Christmas Eve so I think this will be traveling with me today around town. It might also sneak into my coffee this morning after I finish writing this post...

Anyway, it was time for more sitting. For some reason I thought now would be a good time to cover it up also.

Then more whipping. The cream... oh lord the cream... Thick enough to begin with, this was more serious work than the eggs, as you might expect. Unfortunately from this point I didn't have a punch bowl - so I had to use two pitchers to contain it all.

So much eggnog.

And so thick. So luscious. So boozy.

Look at the legs on that...

Ultimately I will definitely make again, but I might take a stab at Alton Brown's recipe, which uses whole milk and egg whites in addition to the yolks and cream.

Happy Holidays!!!

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