Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives
As promised last week, today we’re keeping it classic: 1950s new car, tract-house-in-the-suburbs, Rin-Tin-Tin, American-Dream, Red-Scare, Civil-Rights-Movement, Cuban-Revolution, tinsel-on-the-big-tree CLASSIC.
What? Where am I? Sort of tripped over my soapbox there — forgot I left that thing out last night…
Yes, today we are going to whitewash history with a wholesome, pearly beverage from the days before calories were invented. That’s right, President Ike Eisenhower’s very own eggnog recipe.
1) For my palate, use dark rum for 1/4 to 1/3 of the volume of spirits. Since a fifth is less than a quart anyway, you’ll already have to buy two bottles, so that’s easy enough. Get a good bourbon at around 90-100 proof. Quality matters here.
2) "Coffee cream” is half and half. “Whipping Cream” is heavy cream.
3) A pro tip for separating eggs: Turn your hawthorn strainer upside down and crack your eggs onto it. The white will pour off and the yolk will stay caught in the spring to be dumped in a separate bowl. Fingers work well for separating eggs if you can crack them one-handed.
4) Use fresh eggs. They have a sturdier membrane between the yolk and white, which will save you a lot of frustration.
5) Slowly means slowly. This recipe came before mobile phones, back when people had time. Put on a holiday special and relish the experience of making something kitschy and classic.
6) Texture is king. If you are paying attention to one thing throughout this process, make it the texture in your bowl. Keep control of the texture throughout and your ‘nog will be the best on the block. Thick and creamy. Thick and creamy.
7) Freshly grated nutmeg is far superior to pre-ground. Grate some over the bowl for good looks and some over each cup (if practical) for good feelings and good smells.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I can’t drink this — I’ll die. To that I say, what is life for if not living? Invite a few friends over, set out the cookies, hide your undone trouser button behind your belt, and get you some Christmas, b’gad!
Ah — now that’s more like it. Here’s to Alaska and Hawaii joining the Union, the Russians beating us into space, the birth of the Interstate Highway System, Dr. Salk and his polio vaccine, the Korean War, McCarthyism, Ike Eisenhower, and good old Santa Claus. Merry Christmas, you old Building and Loan!