Taste of the Ozarks: Homemade Eggnog

Here's the recipe for homemade eggnog.

For 6-7 servings
4 eggs
2 cups of whole milk
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pure vanilla
(Optional) 3 ounces (6 TBS) rum or bourbon, more if desired
1 cup whipping cream
Nutmeg and/or cinnamon to sprinkle on top

Mix eggs, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan; use an egg-beater or whisk to thoroughly blend. Cook over medium, not high, heat, this will take about 6-8 minutes of constant stirring. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. If it gets too hot, the eggs will ‘curdle’, so watch the edge of the pan, and if egg begins to cook on the side of the pan, take off heat immediately (preferably before) and set in a sink of cold water. If you have a cooking thermometer, 160 degrees is the goal.

Now add the vanilla, and any spirits you wish to add, and pour into a larger container to refrigerate. Cool at least a couple of hours (some methods say refrigerate 4 days, perfectly OK). The final touch is the whipped cream, which you will whip in a medium bowl to very soft peaks, just until it begins to aerate and bulk up. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled egg mixture. If not serving immediately, return to refrigerator.

How to serve: It is much easier to pour eggnog from a pitcher, but most people use a punchbowl and the awkward ladle provided. Top each serving with freshly-grated nutmeg (some add a bit of ginger as well). “Nog” is a Dutch word for the wooden cups of the 16th century. Your eggnog can be served in antique crystal cups, short glasses, silver or glass stemware, coffee cups or mugs. By the way, an internet vote turned up “Martini glass” as the best container for eggnog. Holiday cookies are a nice accompaniment.