by Mary Jo
Okay, that is a truly terrible pun for this Boxing Day! Continuing our Word Wench tradition of celebrating Yuletide with short, fun posts every day between Christmas and Twelfth Night on January 6th, I decided to riff a bit on eggnog today.
There are many holiday specialty foods and drinks, and eggnog has a long, if somewhat fuzzy, history. It might have come from East Anglia and is a mixture of milk, sugar, eggs, cream, and spices. This being England, alcohol is generally added as well.
Eggnog also because very popular in the U.S., and there was an Eggnog Riot at West Point in 1826 when quantities of whisky were smuggled in for Christmas partying. One of those involved in the riot, though he wasn't court-martialed, was Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederacy. So eggnog can be dangerous!
Eggnog may be related to the medieval posset, in which hot milk is curdled with ale or wine and spices. According to Wikipedia, a posset "was considered a specific remedy for some minor illnesses, such as a cold, and a general remedy for others, as even today people drink hot milk to help them get to sleep." Caudle is a similar concoction.
I used to make an extravagantly rich Alabama Eggnog for holiday parties, though I gave it up when too many guests decided they couldn't consume sugar/eggs/milk/alcohol or whatever. It sure was good, though! Here's a similar recipe, though mine didn't include the brandy or the aging.
Commercial eggnogs are widely available at this season, and there is even a chocolate version. Adding a bit of rum or other spirits and dusting the top with nutmeg or cinnamon makes a pleasant and slightly decadent drink.
Another method is to thaw eggnog ice cream to make a delicious thick base for whatever one wants to add. so it can be as alcoholic or non-alcoholic as one wishes. I like just a dash of rum to cut the sweetness.
Are you a fan of eggnog? Have you had any this holiday season? If not--what's stopping you?!! <G>
Mary Jo, with a picture of a posset pot from Wikipedia