Some people love it, others quiver with distaste when the word is spoken.
We're in the "love it" category. My husband, raised in the West Virginia mountains, is a convert. When I first mentioned making eggnog to him, his lip curled. "Yuck. Hate that stuff."
"Have you had homemade?" I asked.
"No, just the kind in the cartons at the store. It's nasty."
"Ah, then you haven't had eggnog."
RAW EGG ALERT:
My recipe uses raw eggs, which come with the risk of salmonella poisoning. I believe I'm in more danger for my health by drinking the cartoned variety with its mix of chemicals, but be aware of the risk of salmonella if you use my recipe.
There are other recipes online that call for cooking the eggs, and others that recommend aging the eggnog for several weeks (huh? but read the recipe and it makes more sense). There is good information about eggnog, salmonella and how alcohol can reduce the risk at the Iowa State University's food safety webpage. Now isn't that a good reason to spike it!
and at Cooks.com, one of my favorite websites, there are 390 recipes for eggnog and derviatives thereof. 390! Who would have thought it!
My mother made eggnog every Christmas and New Year's Eve, a spiked bowl for adults in the kitchen, and the unspiked kind for kids in the dining room. So the aduts got salmonella protection while we kids had to tough it out.
Here's my recipe--not very exact because I learned it from my mother, the queen of "a bit of this" and a "pinch of that."
6 eggs, whites and yolks separated into two different bowls
About 2 cups of sugar
About a half gallon of milk
about 2 tablespoons of vanilla
Beat the egg yolks with a fork. set aside.
With an electric mixer set on high, beat the egg whites and sugar together in a large bowl (I use my punch bowl) until stiff peaks are formed. Add the beaten yolks. 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and vanilla and beat until mixed well. Add the milk until the punch bowl is about 3/4 or more full. Continue to beat until a foam covers the top of the mixture. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on top for garnish.
That's it. Your eggnog will be light, foamy and delicious. My grandchildren love it, and beg me to make it--they will even get out the punch bowl and ingredients to get me moving!
How to separate eggs, in case you're scratching your head: Crack the shell carefully in two, holding both halves of the shell upright so the contents don't spill out. Over a bowl, carefully tip one halve into the other, letting the white slide out into the bowl below. Keep tipping back and forth until only the yolk remains in the shell. If you break the yolk during the process and some of the yellow gets into the whites, you may not get stiff peaks when you beat the whites and sugar.