One of the annual Christmas traditions most kids have growing up is to leave milk and cookies for Santa before they go to bed. I was no different and the mug above was for that purpose. Before bed mom and dad would pour milk in this mug for me to enjoy with my cookies. I always felt bad that they had such tiny mugs. As an adult I came to understand why they were smaller, they weren’t drinking milk!
After I finished my snack we would wash my mug and refill it with milk for Santa. I would make a nice plate of cookies for Santa and cut up some carrots for the reindeer. These were left on the table next to the tree. I was always delighted to see the empty mug and plate in the morning and figured it was much appreciated by those magical visitors.
My father was an eggnog addict. While the store bought was acceptable, homemade was always better. Sharing the recipe from my mom’s cookbook. Please note, this recipe uses raw eggs. I have heard a theory that the alcohol kills any bad stuff. I do not know if that is true and will leave the choice up to you to decide if you want to drink something with raw eggs. We never had any problems. Be sure to use the freshest eggs you can find. We always got our eggs from the Farmers Market.
- 12 eggs, separated (Be sure to use fresh eggs!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups rye or bourbon whiskey (my choice is bourbon)
- 1 cup Jamaican rum
- 4 cups half-and-half (milk and cream), or to taste
- 1 cup heavy sweet cream, whipped
- Powdered nutmeg
Beat yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and very pale yellow. Beat in the whiskey, rum and half-and-half. (In another bowl) Beat egg whites, and as they begin to stiffen, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating well between additions. When whites are stiffly beaten, add to yolk mixture along with whipped cream. Fold together gently but thoroughly, using a rubber spatula. Serve from a well chilled punch bowl set in ice*. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Makes about 18 to 20 servings.
* Mom would set the punch bowl in a larger, shallow bowl, fill it with ice and then wrap garland around the bowl.
For Traditional English Eggnog – Follow the preceding recipe, adding 1 extra cup half-and-half and 1/4 cup brandy and substituting sherry or Madeira for the whiskey.
Recipe from “Visions of Sugarplums” by Mimi Sheraton – 1968