one man's ceiling
Saturday, December 23, 2006
  nog toast & the origins of nog in general

so it's the weekend and i'm hungry. and i've been bad about shopping (what with solstice and whatnot) and i don't have bagels and cream cheese for j. so i offer to make french toast. and i've got the eggs and i go looking for the dairy and there it is:

eggnog.

i love this stuff, though generally find the real thing too thick in the throat. it feels the same as when i had walking pneumonia and had my airways clogged with stuff. a few years back silk came out with soy eggnog and i have found it perfect. the right flavors, not to thick, just perfect. but this isn't about the virtues of soy.

to my zuska has the real stuff in the house, best thinned with brandy. yum. and i'm thinking hey, why couldn't i make nog flavored french toast! which sounds scathingly brilliant as the flavors are already there for the most part anyway.

cut to the chase: the french toast tastes just the same. i tried upping the spice quotient -- a dash of nutmeg and clove into the mix -- but the sweetness is lost, even un-syruped, and so it was either a nice idea or in need of refinement for the future.

eggnog appears to be one of those things associated with the holiday season which, at it's core, retains a sense of that dickensian nostalgia we hold dear to the holiday season. and it seems appropriate that it retains those british roots as eggnog comes from holiday traditions held by british aristocracy a few centuries back. the stuff was used to toast one's health, and coming around the time of year when people were looking forward -- solstice looking toward the return of the sun, new year's celebrations looking into the promise of the coming year's renewal -- it seems strangely appropriate of a drink that symbolically includes an egg (new life) and milk (nourishment of newborns). being liquored up appears to have been part of it's history as well, and given the "medicinal" properties of liquers or the "nutritional" aspects of ales only seems to buttress the idea that the drink was meant to fortify the soul as well.

the the past i have had years where my consumption of the stuff seemed to be based on the idea that i would never see it again. when the soy version arrived i think there was more than a half dozen occasions where i got as drunk as a lord on the stuff. i was living alone in those days and trapped in retail hell and so it goes without saying that i might not have survived to tell you any of this were it not for eggnog to get me through.

oh, and movies.
and chocolate.
and trader joe's pfefferneuse cookies. (and in the house we call them voofermuffins, but that's another story for another time)

& now my fambily keeps me on track. but eggnog is still great.

more eggnog info here:
history of eggnog from whatscookingamerica
and, of course, the wikipedia entry
 
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