Mark and my most sincere and heartfelt wish for you as we race toward Christmas and The New Year, is that you are all taking some time to just stop. It's actually very hard for many of us, but I really do hope you have the chance to just stop and sit with some people you love during the season. People talk sometimes about a "war on Christmas." I find the "sprint toward Christmas," sometimes rising to the level of the "roller derby toward Christmas" to be more disconcerting. At this time of year, both of the upcoming holidays create an opportunity to connect with what is really important. The most precious and irreplaceable gift any of us has been given is time. I hope you all get to take some of that time and relish it; and I hope you spend some of that time connecting with others. You hear a lot about the "milk of human kindness" these days. Let's remember that it doesn't go bad and sometimes it feels even better to pour it out than it does to receive it. So take a little time with someone or some people you love.
When you're taking that time, you might want to share a little bit of my grandmother's special eggnog. It doesn't come from a carton and it's not easy to make. We serve it at Catherine Lombardi through Christmas Eve but here's how you can make it at home and share it with others. Let's call it Minnie Hackett's Eggnog of Human Kindness.
Minnie Hackett's Eggnog of Human Kindness
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 cups scalded whole milk
- 1 Vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 3 egg whites
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- Separate Yolks and Whites
- Put whites in refrigerator
- Add Vanilla Bean to Milk (if using extract, add after milk is scalded)
- Scald Milk (cook it over a medium heat till it bubbles up when bubbles go away, remove from heat)
- Beat ½ cup sugar into egg yolks
- Add ¼ tsp salt and stir in milk slowly
- Cook in double boiler, stirring constantly, until mixture coats spoon.
- Cool completely (as long as overnight in the refrigerator with vanilla bean)
- Remove Vanilla Bean
- Add 1/8 tsp salt to egg whites and beat stiff
- Slowly Add ¼ cup sugar and beat well
- Add whites to yolks slowly, mixing by hand thoroughly
Serve with grated nutmeg on top & a cinnamon stick. (Add spiced rum or white rum or bourbon or applejack.) It keeps for about three days.