Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Advil Calendar 2011 December 17: HERE IT IS THE EGGNOG


Get out every whisk, eggbeater, stand mixer, hand mixer, and great big bowl that you own, because it's time to ruin your kitchen making homemade eggnog! Woo hoo!
Supermarket eggnog. NOT TONIGHT, BITCH.

That's right. And you're not going to all this trouble just to suck down a punchbowl full of dairy and raw eggs with the neighbors, who have the same exhausting working parent lives as you do and who would therefore secretly think you were unbearably precious for making eggnog from scratch when the stuff from the supermarket is... well it's... listen, it's fine.

No, this is the night to invite the boss, the potential boss, the editor of the local newspaper (ha! as if anyone pays for freelance anymore!), Sister Mary Vice Principal, or the rich auntie who might be able to chip in for Junior's tuition one day.

Last year I posted our neighbor Thelma's eggnog recipe, which, as it turned out, was also the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. This year, I have combed through my most ancient volumes to bring you three variations, each guaranteed to put you in a sugar coma. I don't drink any of them myself, being, as my son calls it, "Lacked Toast Intolerant," but every now and then I can be persuaded to get the punchbowl down from the cabinet over the fridge and whip some shit up. Why? Because if I make the eggnog, all y'all dairylappers will be so impressed that you won't ask me to do anything else for a good 24 hours.

Don't let the sweet smile fool you. Avalynne Tawes is about to do unspeakable things to those turtles. 

The Governor's Lady would never do this: it's cheating.
She might serve those ham salad cones though.
Mrs. J. Millard Tawes (First Lady of Maryland, 1959 to 1967) wrote a cookbook once. She called it My Favorite Maryland Recipes, and her byline included not only her name, but, in parentheses after it, "The Governor's Lady." As if maybe "First Lady" was too assertive, and "Governor's Wife" too unassuming? Beats me. Maybe I'll start billing myself as "The Education Consultant's Lady."

There's an annual clambake in Crisfield in the Tawes's honor, and if it weren't in July, I'm sure they would serve Mrs. Tawes's eggnog:

8 eggs, separated
10 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 quarts milk
1/3 of a fifth each of blended whiskey, Puerto Rican rum, brandy
1 pint whipping cream
pinch salt
Beat egg yolks until very light. Add sugar and beat again. Add milk slowly. Add spirits very slowly, stirring constantly. Fold in whipped cream. Beat egg whites with salt and fold in. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Chill.
Put your arm on ice.

River Road Recipes is something I picked up down South. A publication of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, it was first copyright in 1959, and I was given a copy in 1989. On a business trip to the Big Red Stick, I mentioned to my client's wife, who was an actual member of the Junior League, that while I was in her fair city I was looking forward to eating red beans and rice. WRONG. She got this look on her face like she'd just eaten a mothball. It was as if I'd met the mayor of Bangkok and I'd said, "So mayor, I guess you go to a lot of donkey shows." Yup, there's no snob like a Southern snob.

Naturally, the very next day her husband brought in a copy of this book, gift wrapped and with a lovely, acidly polite note from the wife. In it I found recipes for cakes with seven layers and two kinds of frosting, Beef Wellington, composed salads, and the like. NOT red beans and rice. I wish I could thank the permafrosted old biddy, though - I love this book. One recipe in the section "How Men Cook" starts out "This is for a dug out pit, preferably brick lined to retain heat. Start fire about 9PM the night before." Not exactly "Stand facing the stove," right?

Here's a make-ahead eggnog from River Road Recipes:
You do have a silver nutmeg shaker right?
Make one week before serving:
4 eggs, separated
3/4 pint brandy
6 tablespoons rum
1 quart cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Beat egg yolks. Add brandy and rum gradually (1 tablespoon at a time), while beating constantly. Add 1 pint of unwhipped cream and the well-beaten egg whites. Continue beating and add sugar and another pint of unwhipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Bottle and store in outside temperature (the window ledge is a good place). Do not refrigerate. Shake in bottle before serving. Serves 10-12.
Now that is just weird. In Baton Rouge, they're storing uncooked eggs and dairy... outside? Ok...

Charleston Receipts, originally published in 1950, is another treasure I accumulated on a trip down south. Amid recipes for scuppernong wine and some stuff called ratafia that is made from peach kernels and so I suppose must taste like Laetrile, there are three versions of eggnog. I'm copying the Cotton Hall Plantation Eggnog, because it makes 90 to 100 servings, and one of these days you just might need to get that many people hammered.
5 dozen eggs
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 quarts whipping cream
1 pint coffee cream
1 1/2 quarts rye whiskey
1 pint rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat egg yolks with sugar; add liquor, then whites of eggs beaten very stiff, and salt. Whip cream and add last.

You know who else likes eggnog? That Snoopy Dog fellow, apparently.
What's he doing with that candy cane? He's some kind of flute player?
Maybe he can tell us where to find a nice donkey show.