(disclaimer: these pictures were taken on my camera phone in terrible lighting, so.)
I know there’s that whole thing that people do where they joke about needing to drink a lot around the holidays so that they are able to deal with their crazy families, or whatever. I’m not entirely interested in making this post one of those stories. For one, my family isn’t that type of family–where you need to be drunk in order to handle them (mostly). If anything, you shouldn’t drink much at all, so that when your mom wakes you up at 7am christmas eve morning to go on the hilliest long run of your life (and your life has you living in san fran-fucking-hilly-mcgee-cisco) you aren’t too hungover to keep up with her. For two, I actually really like the holidays. I’m rapidly turning into one of those people who doesn’t really like Things in general, so that is saying a lot.
However, I still support drinking around the holidays because I support drinking in general. Most people are more fun when they drink (some exceptions: most guys I date), and it’s cold outside, and everybody could use a little rosiness of cheek. I don’t support getting WASTED, because there’s so much food to be eaten, and no one wants to be hungover and sick to their stomach when prune tarts are coming out of the oven. But have a shot of eggnog, yeah. With, like, way too much bourbon in it because your dad was in charge of making it.
I’m discovering I’m somewhat of an inverse-grinch. I find most of the year miserable and exhausting and stressful, and I enter some sort of blissful state around Christmas where everything seems ok. It’s possible that incredibly boozy eggnog is to blame. In which case I encourage you all to drink up. Drink up and be merry, because it’s Christmas. I’d try to say something more touching about being grateful to be alive and all the joys of love and that kind of shit, but I actually don’t have a soul, so. You know. That just isn’t happening. Merry Christmas anyway!
from Pithy&Cleaver who adapted it from my main squeeze Alton Brown
4 eggs, separated
1/3 c plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 c whole milk
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1/2 c bourbon
Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 c sugar in a large mixing bowl until they’re thick and pale yellow — i.e., formed the ribbon.
Over high heat, bring the milk, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt to a boil, and then remove from the heat.
Temper the yolks with the hot milk mixture by adding the milk a little bit at a time, whisking constantly, to avoid whipping up a batch of Scrambled Eggnog.
Pop the mixing bowl over a small pot of boiling water and whisk away, until it’s too hot to touch. (Mr. Brown would say “Until it’s reached 160 degrees,” but based on mousse-making experience, I find the touch-test to be a quick substitute.)
Remove from the heat, stir in your bourbon, and put in the fridge to chill.
Beat your egg whites to soft-peak, add the remaining tbsp of sugar, and then continue to beat until they form stiff peaks.
Whisk the egg whites into your cooled yolk mixture, and serve. Feel free to use your cutest novelty cups, and top with a dusting of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.