Written by Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen.
Fresh farm eggs: there’s nothing quite like them. What they offer more than anything else though, is food safety. Knowing where your eggs come from, what the chickens eat and how they live offers you great insight into their health status. Plus, the quality of farm fresh eggs just can’t be beat, and are a dream to work with, as my homemade mayonnaise demonstrates so well.
Eating raw eggs can be dangerous as they can become contaminated with salmonella and you would never know it. Mostly this is dangerous for immune compromised people, such as young children and the elderly or ill, but they can be dangerous for anyone.
Having fresher-than-fresh eggs that come from your own backyard chickens can reduce the risk of contamination as you are the one who has handled them from nest to kitchen, but it does not eliminate the possibility of contamination, it merely reduces the risk.
Not everyone has the opportunity to keep chickens, but it is easy to buy farm fresh eggs from roadside stands. An even better method would be to talk to the farmer and find out just how fresh those eggs are. Read more on ways to procure local fresh foods here.
All photos by Elizabeth Nyland
When making recipes that call for raw eggs, such as the eggnog recipe below, be sure to use the freshest eggs possible. Wash the shells before cracking to ensure nothing gets into the egg once they are removed from the shell.
Having eggnog during the holidays has become a tradition dating back to when I was in high school. The first time I tried, I made four quarts and the only ones drinking it were my father and me. Good thing we liked it so much. Ever since then I’ve tried to make it every year when we have people over.
This recipe is more than simple to make and keeps well as there is alcohol present (caution: don’t save it for more than a couple of days without alcohol).
Try this recipe out and make eggnog an annual tradition in your house! We find it pairs beautifully with Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, but you can be the judge of that!
- 5 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups good quality bourbon or whiskey
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg plus more for garnish
- Whisk yolks with sugar until creamy and sugar begins to dissolve.
- Add cream, milk, bourbon and rum and stir to combine.
- Stir in nutmeg and vanilla and chill well.
- Serve chilled on the rocks with a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired.
I don’t use the egg whites, but it is the traditional way. To use the whites, reserve 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and then beat in sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat 1/2 cup heavy cream. Fold egg whites into cream and serve on top of eggnog with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Variation 2: Cook the eggs
Making a danger-free eggnog is pretty easy too. Simply follow the same recipe above, but leave out the alcohol and mix only half the milk and cream into the blend, then heat the mixture in a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water for about five or six minutes. Be sure to stir constantly. Refrigerate until well chilled.
When ready to serve, simply stir in the remaining cream and milk, as well as the bourbon and rum.
Variation 3: Virgin Eggnog
Follow the recipe as directed, omitting the alcohol and adding an extra 3/4 cup of whole milk, 3/4 cup of cream and 1-2 tablespoons of rum extract to the mix. Chill and serve.
What’s your traditional Holiday drink?