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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    And Now… for your Holiday Nogging Pleasure: The Eggnog Recipe


    Family recipes can be just as confusing as old land plat descriptions, and I have the recipe to prove it!

    Our friends have been calling and emailing in a frenzy. With one thing and another, we are late, late, late making the traditional holiday LevNog. This delicious blending of dairy and distillery is usually brewed on Thanksgiving weekend and left to mellow quietly in the cold dark basement until someone drops in begging for a cuppa.

    Holiday LevNog ready for delivery.
    (Must be over 21 and reside within walking distance.)

    Last night, Mr. Curator finally felt sufficiently recovered from a bad cold to don his holiday apron and commandeer the kitchen. I tried to act as sous chef providing ingredients and equipment, but it soon became clear that translating the recipe was going to be the major obstacle.

    On re-reading the recipe several times it was obvious that the difference in results from year to year is entirely due to different translations. Some years, the nog is smooth and light, much like the consistency of good cream. Other years, the results are thick and lumpy with whipped clouds of creamy sweet goodness. Both taste pretty darn marvelous.

    Blame it on the Translator. I automatically convert the succinct instructions to recipe Directions, but Mr. Curator takes each instruction as written, quite literally. This became as clear as… egg whites, last night in the brew room.

    The list of ingredients is straightforward, although you have to assume it is acceptable to use one dozen eggs, separated, to get 12 Egg yolks and 12 Egg whites.

    Ingriedents (sic)

    12 Egg yolks

    12 Egg whites

    1 ½ cups of sugar

    ¼ tsp. Salt

    1 qt. Heavy cream

    1 qt. bourbon

    1 qt. brandy

    1 cup rum


    It’s the Directions that get us every time, starting with the very first command:

    Beat cream. – What the heck do they mean? Beat the cream? With what? Spoon, mixer? Just cream? No sugar, no anything? I read the entire recipe through to the end and still can’t figure it out. Husband gets ready to pour 1 qt. Heavy cream into the bowl of the stand mixer.

    “Stop,” I say, (nicely). I suggest he skip to instruction to “Beat whites till stiff and beat in ½ cup sugar” because we all know that egg whites have to be beaten in a really clean bowl with no grease if you want them to get good and stiff.

    As sous chef, I have already separated the eggs. Separate yolks and whites (Note no yolks can be in whites but whites can be in yolks). As I cracked the last one and prepared to slide the white into the bowl with eleven brothers, I experienced the fleeting thought that perhaps I should crack the eggs one by one into a bowl just in case the yolk broke… nahhhh, extra work… just then the yolk broke. Managed to get it out of the whites. Whew.

    He grumbles and pours egg whites into mixer bowl. Beats whites until stiff. Adds sugar. Scrapes sweet clouds into another bowl.

    Now it’s time to Beat yolks with 1 cup sugar and salt until light. Before I can say, “how much salt” he has thrown the yolks and sugar into the mixer bowl and they are blended and blended and blended. Almost custard.

    We now have a huge bowl of whipped egg whites and a mixer bowl of yolks and sugar. Next: Combine and beat. While I am thinking do they mean “fold together” rather than beat? Or maybe “mix gently,” Mr. Curator has dumped the whites into the yolks and is beating the mixture. I convince him to go gently. Next, Beat in cream then milk. We now have a thick, somewhat lumpy liquid,

    The final instructions need no translation: Stir in whisky. Beat well and add rum.

    By now I have left the room. When I return and review the recipe I see that one odd omission has not escaped Mr. Curator’s eagle eye. The Directions fail to include each of the listed Ingredients. Never fear! Mr. Curator caught the error and remembered to Add brandy.


    Ingriedents** (sic)
    12 Egg yolks
    12 Egg whites
    1 ½ cups of sugar
    ¼ tsp. Salt
    1 qt. Heavy cream
    1 qt. bourbon
    1 qt. brandy
    1 cup rum
    Beat cream. Separate yolks and whites (Note no yolks can be in whites but whites can be in yolks) Beat yolks with 1-cup sugar and salt till light. Beat whites till stiff and beat in ½ cup of sugar. Combine and beat. Beat in cream then milk. Stir in whisky. Beat well add rum.

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    Reader Comments (4)

    What fun. Sounds yummy anyway you make it!. Wish I was within walking distance

    December 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Keesey Mecoy

    It sounds delicious! You could try making it using a different interpretation next year and compare? Or make another batch... Merry Christmas! Jo

    December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJo

    A virtual Nog Party! I love it! We are already into refilling the snowmen here. My goodness, it must be a VERY good batch.

    December 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterFamily Curator

    I have to say kudos to you and your egg nog skills! I was a personal witness to the refills from the new batch and am wondering if even another batch will be brewed before the season is over! Merry Christmas!

    December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Levenick

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