Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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The Most Famous Eggnog of All – Rob Kasper’s

December 26th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Eggnog’s one of those yes or no foods. Take it or leave it. I mostly left it as a kid: There was something about its flavor that really got next to me. Maybe it was the booze — bourbon wasn’t to my liking — back then.

My parents were nog-heads and couldn’t get enough of the stuff. They made it for years from scratch for their blow-it-all-out Christmas Eve open house. They’d serve up gallons of the creamy, thick yellow liquid laced with serious bourbon. We would fill a punch bowl several times over as guests dipped into it again and again – and finally scraped the last of it by around 2 a.m. A can of nutmeg stood at the ready.

I never was interested in it, so don’t have their recipe. It’s a good bet they didn’t have one to begin with.

Years later, eggnog would return to my life. The former publisher now twice removed of The Palm Beach Post, Tom Giuffrida, loved it. I served a spiked version at a newsroom party one year without asking permission – ignorance is bliss where HR is concerned. Nobody said much except, “Wow! This is great!” I heard later HR had their fair share of it, and maybe that’s why I caught no flak.

Every year, I published recipes for eggnog in the food section. The most requested one, and Giuffrida’s favorite, came from my friend fellow food writer, Rob Kasper, who writes a column for the Baltimore Sun.

Rob and I had a blast judging the National Chicken Cook-off together one year and I told him of the publisher’s love for that eggnog recipe. He said he reprinted it every year – to ward off all the “I lost the recipe – can you help me immediately! calls” . It was the second most-requested holiday recipe I ever published; the overnight sausage-egg casserole for Christmas Day was No. 1.

I’m printing it here because I think it’s perfectly fine to drink eggnog through New Year’s. Or in my case, through February, when I take down the Christmas tree. (It takes way too long to put up to throw it out after only a week or so.)

Note the million-proof nog that results from the generous quantity of bourbon. Best to make/drink at home, sitting down. For that reason, Rob calls it eggnog for people with nowhere to go. He doesn’t want you behind the wheel of anything  — even a lawn mower – after quaffing it.

Rob Kasper’s Eggnog For Folks Going Nowhere

Makes 8 to 10 cups

  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1-1/8 cups sugar
  •  6 egg yolks, beaten
  •  4 cups whipping cream

Blend bourbon and sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit overnight if you can wait. If not, don’t worry. Beat egg yolks until they approach viscous yellow bliss. Add to bourbon mixture. Mix well. Cover and let sit in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Whip cream and add to bourbon mixture. Nog starts off very creamy and becomes soupy the longer it survives.

Jan’s note: I serve this in a small punch bowl, set into a large punch bowl filled with ice. Stir it everytime you walk by the bowl; have a nutmeg grater nearby.

 

Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking!

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ksteinhoff // Dec 26, 2008 at 11:48 am

    That’s funny. We always put rum in ours. Like you, I didn’t like it as a kid.

    Now, it’s a “craving drink.” I only want it a few times a year and usually only in small quantities. I drink the storebrand stuff and the last few swallows usually have to be pitched.

    And, (don’t tell this to guests) I usually just swig it from the bottle when the cravings hit. Why mess up a glass? That means that I don’t have any nutmeg in it, but that’s not a bad tradeoff.

  • 2 Jan Norris // Dec 26, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Dear Readers: If you do have occasion to visit Steinhoff, my former cycling partner, politely decline food and drink unless offered by his lovely spouse Lila.

    Because:
    1) Ken stores food such as peanut butter power bars and trail mixes in his bike bag — on the bike. Which is kept in the shed. In his yard that’s in 4000-degree summer heat. Expiration date?? He don’t read no stinkin’ expiration date! “Till I need ’em, feed ’em to Norris, or till the rats get ’em — whichever comes first” is his theory.
    Since he hasn’t got me to beg food on a long ride any more, I pray that none of you are ever hungry enough to need to eat one of them. I have no descriptive words for the flavor of a nine-month-old shed-baked peanut butter-cinnamon (best guess) oatmeal power bar.

    2) We now learn he drinks directly out of cartons.

    PS: I don’t kiss my dog, either.

  • 3 ksteinhoff // Dec 26, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    It seems odd that the very folks who mock me for what I carry on my bike are the very same ones who don’t mind dipping into my food stash, cadging a spare tire tube and tools, using my first aid kit, spare batteries or spare headlights and taillights.

    Speaking of dogs: http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/2008/12/18/coon-dog-graveyard-alabama/

    P.S. Your dog is probably happier that way, too.

  • 4 Ken Steinhoff // Dec 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I see you’ve recycled this.

    It’s given me a craving for the Publix egg nog in the fridge. I don’t think it’s been in there since last Christmas. Probably just since New Year’s Eve. It’s still good, right?

    If you don’t hear from me again, it probably wasn’t.

    P.S. Is egg nog supposed to have clots like cottage cheese?

  • 5 Jan Norris // Dec 27, 2010 at 8:14 am

    This eggnog is good for the ages, but not for ages…so to my normal readers, fresh eggnog will keep only 3 days in the refrigerator, tightly covered, once freshly made. Serve it well chilled, and keep it chilled in by setting its bowl in an ice-filled bowl. After two hours, add a pint of good quality vanilla ice cream to the bowl and stir.

  • 6 Eggnog « I Am The Eggwoman // Jan 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    […] hey, if you do – please let me know how it goes. There are hundreds of recipes out there but this one seemed quite simple (simpler than the supposedly simple ones) and I enjoyed the post about it. […]

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