Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Sharing the holiday with other people,

and feeling that you're giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.
   ~Caroline Kennedy

I would hope that quote would reverberate among all out there, but I fear the Black Friday madness has become epidemic.  You know, in America from 1659 to 1681 Christmas was illegal, and it was so inconsequential, according to my research, that, after the Revolutionary War, Congress held its opening session on Christmas Day.  Now, it is hard to get them to work on any day!  But, I digress...still the puritanical minds that banned Christmas gave us eggnog!  Here is a vintage eggnog set...you see these and the Tom & Jerry sets often this time of the year.   Made by Hazel Atlas in the early 50s, they are truly reminiscent of times gone by.
 
It seems the first round of the magical holiday concoction was blended in the Jamestown settlement with Captain John Smith's crowd.   A version of the drink is mentioned in British history. 

Medieval Britain drank “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. Before eggnog, it was fairly common to mix milk with wine and other alcohol to make various forms of milk punches.  By the 13th century, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs. Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health.  I am always amazed when researching history how much was designed only for the wealthy.  
Since most American colonists were farmers,  chickens and cows...not to mention cheap rum...made eggnog a celebratory drink.  The English name’s etymology, however, remains a mystery. Some say “nog” comes from “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” a strong beer. By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.

I found George Washington's recipe, but he forgot to put how many eggs...he did not forget the booze though!  It is estimated that a dozen eggs was probably the number...

One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.

Love that recipe...just let it sit in a cool place...no problem with bacteria!  Now the US is paranoid over raw egg products, and they are banned due to health concerns, so the FDA limits the egg yolk solids in eggnog to less than 1%.   I think sugar wins the ingredient medal!
 I did find a modern recipe...

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, to taste
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 pint cream
  • 8 ounces brandy
  • 8 ounces dark rum (something like Bacardi 8, Appleton V/X or Mount Gay Eclipse)
  • Fresh nutmeg
  •   Beat egg yolks until smooth, and gradually add sugar, beating steadily until well mixed. Add milk, cream and spirits and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to firm peaks; fold into yolk mixture. Serve in cups or goblets, and grate fresh nutmeg over the top of each serving.
    Obviously though one of our illustrious Founding Fathers was into the better liquors of life...a thought from Ben Franklin~
     “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”  

    1 comment:

    denise said...

    love the punch bowl set!