We made the first batch of eggnog last week after the sun set, which in winter is such a dramatic drawing of the curtains. Because it’s actually 4:50 pm! Which is the precise time in July that we’re headed to the river, bedtime still lightyears away and nothing more pressing on the agenda than dipping hot limbs in freezy water.
And really, I love that we’re not traipsing through the easy meadow of summer all year long like a romance film on endless repeat. Not that summer’s isn’t a bouquet of joy and beauty and specialness, daily. Oh, it is. But I like how winter draws us close and holds us there, if even a bit too long or forcefully. It’s in this being pressed together—our family like wildflowers in a heavy book—that I remember the quieter joys of an inside life.
Which is to say, we’ve been making a lot of eggnog. And I think you should make a batch for yourself too. Because it’s festive and delicious and the sort of thing that tastes best in the last days of December when daylight is a thin sliver between two slabs of darkness. If you mix a batch after the kids are in bed, you may feel a little giddily deviant, giggling over sweet boozy cream like you’re sneaking it behind their backs.
1 quart half and half (or 1 pint cream, 1 pint whole milk)
3 whole eggs
1/3 cup honey or sugar
1 tsp vanilla
sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg for traditionalists)
1/2 cup rum (optional, but barely) ~Durango locals, the Montanya rum made in Silverton is damn good~
First, whisk the eggs and the sugar for 5 minutes (I made a batch with honey recently, which is fine, but make sure your honey is room temperature and add it to the eggs before you add the cream, which is cold enough to crystallize the honey).
~whisking up this ocean of raw orangeness is a little startling at first. If you’re worried about salmonella you can buy pasteurized eggs~
Next, add the milk and whisk a few more minutes.
~A good word for healthy fats: fats are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes and brain tissue; fats help your body use vitamins (A, D, E, K), regulate sex hormones, improve skin and immune function~
~The Zelletti’s cows: where our milk comes from~
Next add vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
~almost artsy, what with the cascading cinnamon, except, whoops! puncture wound on Dan’s hand~
If you’re nice, now’s the time to pour off some non-alcoholic eggnog for the kids to lap up in the morning. Add rum to the rest, mix well and chill in fridge. Also, lovely in coffee.