OCTOBER

OCTOBER

December 18, 2010

In the Land of Nog!

"This is meeting time again. Home is the magnet. The winter land roars and hums with the eager speed of return journeys. The dark is noisy and bright with late-night arrivals Ð doors thrown open, running shadows on snow, open arms, kisses, voices and laughter, laughter at everything and nothing. Inarticulate, giddying and confused are those original minutes of being back again. The very familiarity of everything acts like shock. Contentment has to be drawn in slowly, steadying, in deep breaths Ð there is so much of it. We rely on home not to change, and it does not, wherefore we give thanks. Again Christmas: abiding point of return. Set apart by its mystery, mood and magic, the season seems in a way to stand outside time. All that is dear, that is lasting, renews its hold on us: we are home again..."  - Elizabeth Bowen (Excerpt from Home for Christmas.)

Estelle's Egg Nog Christmas Pudding
1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoon molasses
1/3 cup brandy
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cornstarch, (combine with above cornstarch)
25 small (about 1 1/2 inch) gingersnap cookies
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar


Make the pudding: Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring the sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of the half-and-half, nutmeg, molasses, brandy, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup half-and-half in a medium bowl until combined. Slowly add in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, while continuing to whisk, and set aside. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining half-and-half together in a medium bowl. Quickly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot milk mixture. Place the pan back on heat, increase to medium-high, and whisk constantly until it just boils. Remove from the heat and add the egg mixture, while stirring vigorously, to the hot milk mixture. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid just begins to simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and strain into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the film directly on the hot pudding, and set in the ice bath to cool. Refrigerate.
Assemble the dessert: Crush 1 gingersnap and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl and beat to soft peaks. Alternate layers of cooled pudding, gingersnaps, and cream in six 6-ounce individual custard cups. Chill for at least one hour. Top with crushed cookies and serve.

Estelle's Southern Sideboards EggNog
6 egg, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint heavy cream
4 pints milk
1/2 pint Bourbon
1 tablespoon vanilla
Freshly Grated Nutmeg




In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the 1/2 cup of sugar until thick. In another bowl beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick. In a third bowl beat the cream until thick. Add the cream to the yolks, fold in the egg whites, and add the milk, Bourbon, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired. Chill in freezer before serving. Serve eggnog in a large punch bowl.


"May all paths lead to home this holiday season."










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