Tag Archives: food blog

Christmas Cravings – I made eggnog, for the first time from scratch! And it was delicious

Once my Christmas tree went up a couple of weeks ago, the cravings for Christmas treats started to hit me hard. I think it’s a combination of winter being thrust upon us, and being stuck at home in isolation as I wrote about this morning.

Eggnog has been on top of my shopping list for weeks but to no avail. None of the stores have it in stock at the moment. To my extreme dismay.

For the past week or so, I’ve been binge watching cooking videos on Youtube on how to make your own eggnog. And for once – I had all the ingredients on hand. Except for one – nutmeg which is a huge part of eggnog. I decided to get creative and tried cinnamon instead.

This was a LOT of work for one person – and it better be worth it. I’ll be extremely disappointed if the recipe doesn’t pan out.

First step was heating up some cream and milk. I used 2 cups of 1% milk (it’s easier on my stomach) and 1 1/2 cups of half n half cream. I let this heat up in a large pot on the stove top on medium low heat. All of the videos I watched told me not to let it boil or simmer. And to whisk often or constantly.

In addition to the milk and cream, I added in the about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and about the same of vanilla extract. If you have vanilla bean or vanilla paste – I’m told that works just as well.

Next came the hard part – and one I was not looking forward to. Separating egg yolks. I had never done this before mostly because the mess it makes. But I was determined to make eggnog today no matter what to help snap out of this funk I’ve been in. The first egg didn’t work out so well. But by the fourth egg – I was a pro. I used 6 eggs in total – or 5 1/2 if you don’t count the one yolk that got away.

This next part – I think I messed up and added sugar too early. I used my metal whisker to whisk the eggs until they turned a light fluffy colour. I added in about 1/3 cup of sugar slowly while doing this. I couldn’t get the eggs as creamy or fluffy as they looked in videos and I think it’s because I used 1% milk. Whole milk, I’m told, works better for eggnog.

The next step was tricky for my left-handed self. You have to find time to whisk the milk mixture while mixing the eggs with your other hand. Then you take a soup ladel and drop in one scoop of the milk into the egg yolk mixture. And you have to whisk constantly while doing this step. It was very difficult to take a picture and the one photo I did get – came out blurry.

I mixed the egg yolk mixture until it was as creamy as I could get it – kind of like a thin custard – and then I poured it into the milk mixture. That’s where the real whisking begins.

I was paranoid about burning the milk but it wasn’t heating up fast enough for me and twenty minutes had already gone by. So, I turned up the heat and got out my $10 thermometer and waited impatiently for the heat to rise to 175F. That was good enough for me – to make sure the eggs were cooked enough.

I gave the mixture a good stir, turned off the heat and covered the pot with a lid to let it cool down.

Oh – I forgot to mention – I may have added a splash of rum or two early on into the milk and cream. Because why not? Most eggnog recipes call for rum, bourbon or scotch. Choose your pleasure, as long as it’s a dark or spicy. I chose my go to – Captain Morgan’s spiced rum which I’m almost out of.

Next came the hard part. You’re supposed to mix the egg whites in a separate bowl with a handmixer until you get a nice “peak” or until the egg white stiffens. But this did not happen for me. I mixed for a good 15 minutes. I even switched to a hand whisk for an additional five minutes. I tried adding cream. I tried sugar. Nothing. I eventually covered the egg whites with plastic and it is stored in my fridge. Maybe it will harden on its own – or maybe I can find some other use for it.

I’m now waiting patiently for the eggnog to chill enough so that I can have it for my after dinner drink. I’ve been craving it for so long but I never thought to make my own eggnog.

I’m not going to share the recipe since there are so many ways to make this wonderful drink that really should be available all year round.

Instead, I’ll share one of my favorite videos so you can see just one of many ways it’s made.

What’s your favorite drink this time of year? Let me know in the comments!

Now I’m going back to see what I did wrong with the egg whites. I’ll follow up with pictures later!

Happy Thanksgiving from me to you

This morning I woke up feeling a little sad and lonely. Being single and living on my own is fine for the most part. But it’s holiday time – Thanksgiving and Christmas that I start missing my family. Especially my mum.

Mum would always get up really early on Thanksgiving day. By 9:00 in the morning, the kitchen would be filled with delicious aromas of turkey and onions for the stuffing. The turkey would be in the oven for 10:00 am. It was always a big bird – to feed an army. Which at twenty people, we almost were army sized.

I’m missing my mum so much this year. Especially with dad in the home. We can’t bust him out. I saw him yesterday and the visit was a disaster as he was not having a great day. They are serving a turkey dinner but it’s just not the same without him. My sister will see him Tuesday. It’s just hard being away from parents this time of year. I tried booking a visit to see him. I really did. What else can you do? I called him this morning to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving and said I’d see him soon and that I loved him.

I was sitting in my recliner, sipping my morning coffee and surfing youtube videos on how to cook chicken perfectly, when I got an invite from my brother in law for dinner. We’re a small group. The four of them plus me. This falls within the rules of family gatherings during COVID.

“It’s nothing special, just ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli. We’ll even pick you up.”

He had me at ham. I was sold.

The rest of the family are all doing their own thing. And that’s okay. We don’t need to get together all the time. As long as everyone is safe, healthy and happy. I just wish my dad could be with us. It feels wrong without him.

And so… my plans for cooking a magical Thanksgiving feast for one, will have to wait until tomorrow. I do have a package of chicken breasts I need to cook up so I will do that for lunch. I’m also going to make another apple crumble for dessert tonight.

I love my family. I’m missing my beautiful mum and her pies this year. I wish just once – I could see her one more time hovering over the kitchen counter with her rolling pin and high heels because she was short. Just once I wish I could hear her laugh and sing along to Bing Crosby and Dean Martin as she baked a million pies and desserts for the family.

Just once… I wish I could see her smile again and hold her tight and tell her I love her. But at least I won’t be alone this weekend. And for that, I’m ever so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe and healthy wherever you are in the world.

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

Follow me on Pintrest! I have a new account.