Stamp of approval for made-from-scratch eggnog (see recipe) with fondue

by wands on December 14, 2009

Made-from-scratch eggnog from the Joy of Cooking: Sublime.

Made-from-scratch eggnog from the Joy of Cooking: Sublime.

[Not forgetting the conversation and conviviality. And the stamps were real. And this must be the world’s best eggnog recipe.]

Today was the day of the eggnog revelation.

Eggnog can be sublime.

All it took to turn me from an eggnog “no thanks I’ll skip it” to an eggsnog(ger) was a glass of the real thing. Thank you, Pam.

The occasion was Pam’s twentieth, or she said it could have been her twenty-fifth, holiday (read Christmas) stamping party. The Oaklander, who is a whizz at teaching people how to use video for marketing their businesses, among many other things, has been collecting stamps (the sort you use with ink and decorate paper with) for twenty-five years.

During all that time, she’s been inviting people, each year around this time, to come play with her stamps.

Pam had a Christmas tree in the living room of her magical hide-away house (no view at all from street level).

The eggnog recipe — zoom in to read the original.

The eggnog recipe — zoom in to read the original.

You step through the nondescript gate that is set into a very plain wooden fence and there, planted at the bottom of a gently winding path, among a fairytale forest of great old trees, is the double-storied wooden homestead that looks like an illustration from a happy Grimm Brothers’ tale.

So, the people came and went, and there was lots of versions of Prosecco, including a French one. And some of us played with the stamps, and others bonded and conversed, and some played and conversed, and kids did kiddie-things, and a dog did a very doggie thing when he scoped a slab of liver pate near the edge of the coffee table, patiently awaited his chance, and suddenly pounced and devoured. All in one lunge. If victory was a stronger reward for him than getting a thump, he was celebrating.

Warm on a wintry day, Pam's cheese fondue.

Warm on a wintry day, Pam's cheese fondue.

On to the made-from-scratch eggnog that we had, along with a cheese fondue, a well-dressed green salad, and a gingerbread house and a table of holiday goodies, including a traditional iced and decorated Christmas cake like my mum and gran used to make — the sort I never usually get to see in the United States (I took a pic) — purchased from Oakland’s famed old Neldam’s Danish Bakery.

Pam used the Joy of Cooking cookbook and chosed the “rich and extravagant” uncooked eggnog version. The book says the amounts are for 40 servings. Epicurious.com gives the same recipe and lists it as being for 12 people. It could tally. You wanted to devour more than one glass.

In fact, what about converting the recipe, filling a bath, and diving in?

The traditional iced Christmas cake. Yum.

The traditional iced Christmas cake. Yum.

Ingredients
12 eggs (separated)
1 pound (one box) confectioner’s sugar (castor sugar, if you’re trying this in South Africa)
4 – 8 cups dark rum, brandy, bourbon or rye
2 quarts whipping cream

Preparation
Separate eggs and beat yolks until light in color. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar.
Add, very slowly, 2 cups rum (or other liquor).

Let it rest, covered, for one hour to dispel the eggy taste.

Then add, beating constantly, 2 – 4 cups more of your chosen liquor and 8 cups (or 2 quarts) whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for three hours

To finish, beat 8 –12 egg whites until stiff, but not dry, and fold into mixture. Serve sprinkled with grated or ground nutmeg.

Be in bliss.

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