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December 11, 2008

 

Welcome back to the kitchen everyone. It’s that time of year, so this week I want to share with you the joy of homemade holiday eggnog. Now, before any of you go wrinkling your noses at this sweet seasonal treat, allow me to let you in on a little secret: the stuff you buy at the store is thick, oversweet, and just plain nasty. But the stuff you make at home is easy and just incredibly delicious.

           

Now, I’ll admit, I only discovered the difference between store bought and home made eggnog just this week, at a holiday gathering hosted by KOHO owner Harriett Bullitt. I honestly never thought eggnog was something to get excited about. But one sweet and flavorful mouthful and I was a total convert.

 

Creamy, foamy, rich yet light. And of course, a hefty dose of good bourbon makes for quite the intoxicating treat, both literally and figuratively. I had to get Harriett’s recipe, and she was kind enough to share it with all of us:

 

(Harriet interview)

 

So there you have it, the family recipe straight from the expert. Now, if you need a reminder of the recipe, grab a pencil:

 

Here, friends, is Harriet Bullitt’s holiday eggnog:

 

1 pound sugar

1 dozen egg yolks

1 fifth of good Kentucky bourbon

One sherry glass of rum for good measure (or brandy)

 

2 quarts whipping cream

Fresh grated nutmeg for topping

 

Mix the first set of ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Harriet’s recipe says set the mixture aside at room temperature for three days, covered, to let the booze mellow. Other recipes I’ve seen set this mix aside in the refrigerator for just six hours. But whatever the case, I’m sure the eggs are totally neutralized by the alcohol.

 

Speaking of the eggs, an easy way to separate the yolk from the egg white is to crack the egg over a bowl and pass the yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white fall in to the bowl. Then, when only the yolk remains, add it to your other mixing bowl.

 

When you are ready to serve the eggnog, whip 2 quarts of heavy whipping cream until it is fairly stiff. Harriett cautioned me not to over-whip the cream, because you’ll end up with butter. But hey, if that happens, just start the whipped cream over and enjoy some fresh home made butter at your holiday meal.

 

Ok, back to the eggnog. Fold together the whipped cream with the sugar, eggs, and bourbon and spoon out into everyone’s cup. Top each serving with a little pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, toast to everyone’s health, and enjoy.

 

This traditional recipe makes a seriously tasty ‘nog, and will make you never want artificial store bought fare again. And hey, once you’ve made the base mixture, you can play with the flavors a little. For example, a little dash of grated ginger might be nice, or cinnamon. Really, any of the pumpkin pie type spices would work here. You could even try something more exotic like a little bit of ground cardamom and powdered pistachios with a dash of rose water for a Middle Eastern twist.

 

Well friends, I hope you take the time to try out some new recipes along with the classics this holiday season, your friends and family will surely appreciate it. What better way to bring people closer together than to share traditional family recipes? I’d love to hear what you’re cooking this time of year, so please check out the website and leave some comments. Cooking local in the KOHO kitchen, I’m Isaac Kaplan-Woolner.   

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