I was only eighteen, but it was my job to provide the eggnog. I went to the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and there it was, a recipe for eggnog that seemed perfectly easy. I went to the market and bought the ingredients. Then at home I started making the parts. But I hadn’t actually read through the whole recipe, so I made it wrong, and we loved it so much it became our favorite eggnog and no one in my family wants any other kind now. If you live somewhere that has chancy eggs, buy pasteurized ones. In Italy, if you check the dates, you’ll be fine.
For parties I make up the various parts for a double recipe and blend them in a punchbowl just before serving. I grate nutmeg over it all. I then proceed to rob the punchbowl and lose track of what else there is to do. Be warned, your other duties should be finished before filling the bowl. My kid is a teetotaler and does not add the liquor, but is a dedicated lover of this eggnog, anyway.
Judith’s Screwed-Up Eggnog
for 6-8 servings (who do they think they’re kidding?)
1/3 cup (79 ml) sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart (946 ml) milk
2 egg white
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or use vanilla sugars in both cases above)
brandy or rum to taste, start with 3/4 cup (177 ml)
1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
Beat the egg yolks and the first sugar together very well, add salt. Stir in the milk. Put aside.
Beat the egg whites, slowly adding the second amount of sugar until it forms a meringue, beating in the vanilla, if used, toward the end. Put aside.
If making this ahead, put both concoctions into the fridge or out on a frosty porch, well covered.
When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream to a stiff consistency.
Put the first mixture into a big bowl. Stir in the liquor. Using a whisk, fold in the meringue. Taste to see how much liquor to add. Still with the whisk, fold in the whipped cream. Grate or sprinkle nutmeg over and serve with a ladle.
That’s it folks, the one-way fluffy road to Nirvana.