One thing I’ve learned through my attempts to cook from scratch is that I now love foods I used to hate. Asparagus, eggplant, brussels sprouts and bone marrow are just a few items on the long list of foods that taste better made by me. Another one is eggnog.
I’d only ever had pre-made store-bought eggnog before, and it was so thick with a strong and manufactured, sweet, eggy flavor. It tasted too-strong and fake, much the way Mrs. Butterworth’s maple flavored syrup compares to real maple syrup from trees in Canada or Vermont. It always made me slightly queasy.
This year, I was in such a holiday mood, that when I came across a recipe online for old-fashioned eggnog, it sounded frothy and merry and delicious. I also realized our ancestors knew how to cut the cream and make anyone love eggnog: with a lot of liquor.
Using the old-fashioned recipe, I created my eggnog with one difference. I used only Cognac and Cointreau as the potent ingredients – but I followed the same overall measurement of liquor. It took an awfully long time to whip the mixture into peaks, but I was committed. I did both sets of whipping with vigor, for an especially extended period of time. When it was ready, it was delicious…the best eggnog I’d ever tasted.
It was so airy and light, with a lovely delicate flavor. But it was a bit difficult to drink, as the froth that had been whipped so superbly now stuck to the side of the glass heroically. But I wanted that foam with the drink, much like a perfect cappuccino.
I knew what would fix this! Ice cream. Putting the whole thing in an ice cream machine would freeze the mixture while still keeping it slushy because of the alcohol. It would be the perfect homemade eggnog ice cream shake. And so I froze it. And then I ate it. And drank it. And spooned it into my coffee in the morning. And served it to everyone who came into my house. Then, we drank more. It was the perfect beginning to my holiday mornings and the perfect end to my holiday dinners.
I really do love eggnog, now just as much as my ancestors did.