When Dolores and I first married, she was intent on starting our own family traditions. We had eggnog when putting up the Christmas Tree and on Christmas Day before dinner and on Christmas Eve it was always champagne and pizza. Christmas dinner was a goose if she could find one locally and if it cost less than $100 or duck if their was no reasonably priced goose available in St. Croix.
Our recipe for old fashioned eggnog started life from The Betty Crocker cookbook in 1968 and the only adaptions were to cut back on the amount of sugar and use brown sugar instead of white. Obviously, Betty was not a closet drinker as the rum was recommended as a “flavoring.” I believe this is the only recipe for which Dolores or I ever used an eggbeater so inevitably we had to waste time every year hunting for all the pieces.
Otherwise the recipe is simple and easy to make and yes, the red Carnival Glass was only used at Christmas to serve the eggnog to family and friends. I am sharing this glass with my friend Vanise who has been a friend of our family since 1997. She is a Rastafarian Christian who truly celebrates Christmas because it is the birth of Christ.
She also puts her faith to work as a loving caregiver, helping all in need including me when Dolores died. She helped with everything including babysitting for one child while the rest of us had a sea burial. She also scrubbed my granddaughters and washed their hair when they came to visit last summer. Currently she has adopted a family with a single father and two children where the father happens to be limited by his vision. She still has time to come by and have a glass of eggnog with me as she did with Dolores and I on Christmases Past.
1 egg well beaten
1 T Brown sugar
1 cup cold milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 oz dark Crucian rum
- Beat egg vanilla and sugar together
- Add milk while continuing to beat
- Add rum and beat again
- Serve immediately with freshly grated nutmeg on top
This makes only a cup plus but since we used this as a symbolic tradition more than a beverage, it was enough for Dolores and I. If you like to drink eggnog, double the amount.
With regard to the title, I am a Chemical Engineer who worked in the food and pharmaceutical industries for 35 years. On a regular basis, I really only like to eat the foods that were available when my Grandmother was born. It’s not that I think biochemically produced foods from factories are unclean or substandard, I just don’t believe my creator designed my body to eat chemicals.
Of course there are exceptions. I take medicines when I am sick but not for pain or headaches so I respect the very special needs of diabetics although no one in my immediate family has ever suffered from this illness. I also respect the self imposed dietary restrictions of vegetarians and vegans so long as Doritos and Twinkies are not on their list of consumables. I lost about 65 pounds last year and it was not by avoiding ice cream with my Grandchildren or skipping traditional chemical free eggnog at Christmas. I lost my weight based on a portion controlled diet and snacking on raw vegetables. Therefore I cringe when people who are not diabetics believe it is a good idea to drink diet drinks and artificial sweeteners.
Anybody who uses Splenda should read this article and find out why Splenda is not splendid except for a medically restricted diet where the use of sugar would be an even worse choice. As a chemical process engineer, I consider this article an accurate description of how it is made and what it really is. I am sorry but I just don’t consider ingredients like toluene, trityl chloride, benzyltriethylammoniumchloride, dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, methanol, thionyl chloride, benzyltriethylammoniumchloride, methyl isobutyl ketone and sodium methoxide to be on my primary list of consumables because they were not available to consumers in my grandmothers youth.