Sunday, February 3, 2013

'Hog Nog

Yesterday was February 2, which means, of course, that it was also Groundhog Day.  It's important to celebrate Groundhog Day properly since we don't have very many holidays dedicated to large rodents, or more specifically, holidays where a marmot is asked to bridge the fields of meteorology and climate science.  (Apparently, spring is coming early this year.)  We propose that the proper way to celebrate February 2 is with a big glass of homemade eggnog.  It might seem counterintuitive at first, but bear with us...

For starters, eggnog is far too delicious to be consumed only during Christmas time (and more recently, around Easter).  In fact, we think (Jake thinks) there should be an excuse to consume eggnog at least once a month. Folks who raise chickens sometimes have an overabundance of eggs that doesn't always fall conveniently in December or April.  Those noble farmers should feel free to whip up a batch of frothy egg drink any time of year they have an egg windfall.  Thus, February needs an eggnog-affiliated holiday and, given the frequency with which our weather people (and sometimes even our beloved marmots) need to revise their predictions (i.e., have egg on their faces), Groundhog Day is the perfect candidate.  So, here we go, with the first installment of a series called, "Holidays That Should Be Celebrated With Eggnog."  These are our step-by-step instructions for preparing eggnog for Groundhog Day or, if you will, 'Hog Nog. (Based on a recipe from Katie's sister-in-law, Julia.  Thanks, Julia!)

12 eggs
1 c sugar
6 c milk
Whipped cream
Nutmeg, ginger, cloves to taste

Take the eggs and separate the yolks into a large bowl and the whites into a separate container. (A one-pint canning jar is about the right size for the whites.)  Save the whites for something else
Whip the yolks until thick and bright yellow.  With an old-fashioned egg beater, it took about 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup sugar and mix well.  We used raw sugar, like a groundhog might find in the wild.
Add 6 cups of milk and mix well.  Using of milk instead of cream makes it quite a bit thinner (and dare we say, healthier) than the eggnog you normally find in the grocery store.
When it's all done it should look something like this.
Some say to let chill overnight or for several hours.  We've never made it more than about 15 minutes.  Pour it into your favorite mug, add a dollop of whipped cream and a few sprinkles of nutmeg, ginger, and/or cloves to taste.  These spices give it a earthy flavor, which groundhogs love.  Refrigerate the leftovers (if any).

Sometimes people of sufficient vintage enjoy seasoning their eggnog with aqueous ethanol solutions.  For 'Hog Nog, the natural choice would probably be something like this.

Disclaimer: This recipe uses raw eggs, which might contain harmful bacteria--consume at your own risk and don't sue us if you get sick!

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