Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ants on a Nog

As you are no doubt aware, we are currently smack dab in the middle of Carpenter Ant Awareness Week, a week dedicated to educating folks about carpenter ants and the damage they can cause.  It always happens during the third week of June, and is typically 'celebrated' primarily by pest control companies as a kind of publicity event.  But we can get behind most things educational, and we can definitely get behind insect educational events.  So in the traditional sense, here's what you need to know about identifying, preventing, and controlling carpenter ants.  Please be responsible and read it.

We also wanted to do our part to spread the word in the nontraditional (i.e., more fun) sense, but Katie said she doesn't have enough time to make a giant ant costume on the sewing machine or make pamphlets to hand out to strangers on the sidewalk.  So, instead we decided to raise our glasses for a toast to carpenter ant education.  What's in our glasses?  Carpenter ant-themed eggnog. 

Start out as before, taking six egg yolks and beating them until thick and bright yellow, then mixing in 1.5 cups milk and heating to 160 °F.  While hot, add a third of a cup of sugar and mix to dissolve. We found out this time that if you heat the mix higher than 160 °F and the eggs start to set up, it's possible to make it uniform and not chunky again by hitting it hard with the stick blender.  The hand-crank egg beater would probably work, too, if it's functioning properly.
Add a couple tablespoons or so of peanut butter and mix well.  Then add the other 1.5 cups milk.
Add a half cup of finely chopped raisins, or add a half cup of raisins and finely chop them in situ with the stick blender, as long as it's already out.  Just like you would probably want to do to the carpenter ants, if they were busy eating your walls.
For the final touch, take a pinch of celery seed and grind it up with the ol' mortar and pestle.
The chopped raisins will probably sink to the bottom of the bowl, so make sure to stir well before serving.
Chill before serving, and garnish with a small hill of cinnamon and cloves.

Now, just like our earth 'nog may cause some readers to wrinkle their noses at the thought of chocolate eggnog, we realize that this recipe might raise a few eyebrows.  But, just like earth nog was the illegitimate offspring of a glass of chocolate milk and a bowl of custard, consider that this ant-themed recipe is sort of the goofy stepchild of your favorite preschool snack and a bowl of custard.  Katie has almost finished her entire glass already!  (Really!)

The recipe:
6 egg yolks
1.5 cups milk
another 1.5 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
pinch ground celery seed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Beat egg yolks until thick and bright yellow, add 1.5 cups milk and mix until uniform.  Heat mixture to 160 °F, stirring often.  Add sugar and peanut butter, stir until uniform, then add rest of milk raisins, and celery seed.  Garnish with cinnamon and cloves.  Chill and drink. Explain to any guests that this is to raise awareness of carpenter ants and how to deal with them.

How are you celebrating carpenter ant awareness week?  How do you deal with carpenter ants?  Have you made this eggnog with real ants instead of raisins?  Let us know in the comments section below!

No comments:

Post a Comment