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thing of the past | thing to come

What: A correctly made eggnog, made with a half gallon of store-bought or handmade eggnog (milk, raw eggs, and sugar), a half gallon of French vanilla ice cream, liberal amounts of dark rum or cognac, and a heaping of nutmeg.

Why: The story goes that eggnog's name comes from the phrase "egg and grog," grog being the most piratical term for a rum and water, and while that's probably not true, this is the time of year for stories that might seem a bit suspect. There's the one about a kindly preacher who, after being tortured, impaled, and fatally dehydrated, came back and forgave us our trespasses. There's the other one about the single dram of oil that burned for eight times as long as oil can burn, in service of a banished people. And there's still another about an overstuffed toymaker who glides a caribou-piloted sled silently onto the roofs of the world, clambers down chimneys, and lays festive offerings at the base of indoor fir trees. Not one of those makes a lick of sense. But that's not the point. The point is that this is a time of year to put aside logic, and get together in celebration of family and untenable stories. And it's also time to put aside the logic that raw eggs can kill you, that ice cream and rum can lead you to ruin, and that nutmeg is a psychoactive poison. Because man, they taste good together.

Impact: Sales of store-bought eggnog have quadrupled in the last 50 years, and yet stores will only stock it for about six weeks out of the year. Eggnog sales drop off a cliff the day after New Years. It remains one of the few beverages with a season, and for good reason. If you drank eggnog all year round, you'd quadruple too.

Personal Connection: I have been making this for nigh on thirty Christmases, having been taught the recipe by my mom's soon-to-be-husband Charlie. Evon doesn't drink the stuff, so I often have to drink an entire gallon of ice-cream-infused eggnog by myself. I live a hard life.

Other Contenders: teaching children to gamble with a dreidel and chocolate coins; threatening children with captivity and devourment at the hands of Krampus, Saint Nick's demonic sidekick; terrorizing children with Maurice Sendak's tiger-people and giant mice at the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of The Nutcracker; laughing at children's impossible task of memorizing "The Twelve Days of Christmas"; and, after all that, bribing those same children with presents so that they come to expect nothing less for the rest of their awesome lives.

Comments

( 8 comments — Agree or disagree? )
jangler_npl
Dec. 26th, 2011 06:07 am (UTC)
I've only had the store-bought stuff, and that's plenty rich enough for me...I think I'll pick some up tomorrow. Also, I correctly guessed where the Twelve Days of Christmas link would lead to :) Are all the New Year's traditions are just barely on the January side?
selinker
Dec. 28th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
Well, the 12 Days link could have led to our card game of the same name, but I don't think that's a "tradition" yet.

My New Year's traditions involve hiding under the bed and waiting for the explosions to stop.
ladycelia
Dec. 26th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
I love a good home-made eggnog. A really good one has to age for a few days. It's amazing. I raise chickens, so I have no qualms about making my own 'nog. Yum!
selinker
Dec. 28th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Wow, nog-laying chickens. Will wonders never cease.
zotmeister
Dec. 27th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
The holiday season tends to be accompanied by advertisements from one theater or another for their production of The Nutcracker. These ads are invariably accompanied by "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" playing in the background. This, in turn, invariably makes me want to play Tetris. - ZM, who can't help but also notice the lack of the usual "Personal Connection" section...

Edited at 2011-12-27 03:48 pm (UTC)
selinker
Dec. 28th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Whoops. I just left it out. I thought the entry looked a little short. I will fix.
nightsinger
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
Mmmm, delicious, delicious eggnog. I am sad that we have none in the house right now; buying more will be difficult! If I can find any, though, I have to try making eggnog shakes in the blender, thanks to your mentioning ice cream. Mmmm...
selinker
Jan. 5th, 2012 05:32 am (UTC)
Never used a blender. Hmmm.
( 8 comments — Agree or disagree? )

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