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12/31/2021

~ And Just Like That -- Christmas Vacation was Over ~

IMG_4055Meet my Marty Moose eggnog cups.  Made famous in National Lampoon's 1986 flick Christmas Vacation, these glass cups have been serving eggnog to family and friends in my kitchen from the day I gleefully found out I could purchase a set.  They are just, plain, fun.  In the midst of all the fun and celebratory toasts, have you ever wondered why we drink egg nog over the holidays, and moreover, why we drink eggnog in small cups, or, why it's even called eggnog?

Why we drink eggnog to celebrate Christmas & New Year's:

Eggnog means eggs in a cup, and it is used on both sides of the Atlantic to toast to health.  Nog is an old English term for a small wooden cup.  It descended from a hot British drink called posset, made from eggs beaten with milk, sugar and some type of spirit. During that period, alcoholic drinks were served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because it was cooked, posset traveled and adapted well to local tastes.  One such place: the American colonies, which were full of farms which were full of chickens, cows and lots of cheap rum -- our signature ingredient. 

Fast forward to present day.  Over the holidays, pasteurized eggnog is sold in milk-like cartons in almost every grocery store in America.  Here is where I stick my two cents in.  All store-bought eggnog is not created equal.  Most mass-produced name brands are cloyingly sweet, leaving an almost bubblegum-like aftertaste.  Most purists agree (I am one), those who don't like this traditional Yultide beverage have simply never had the opportunity to taste real-deal eggnog.

References to eggnog date back to the 1800s, when, even back then it was served during the Winter holiday season. Known as "egg milk punch", it was and still is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, sugar, raw egg yolks, whipped egg whites and a splash of rum and/or vanilla extract. Nowadays cream is always included in place of some or all of the milk, because today's milk has a much lower fat content than milk in the 1800's, which had cream on top.

Brandy, rum and/or bourbon are almost always added.  The plain truth:  Eggnog just tastes A LOT better with some alcohol in it.  Each smallish finished serving is poured into a punch cup, then it's topped off with a dollop of freshly-whipped cream and a sprinkling of freshly-ground nutmeg.

Slurp it down, suck it up & set the alarm, a new year starts now!

IMG_4055"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/2021)

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