Saturday, December 15, 2007

too many nogs, not enough time

They were offering samples of egg nog in tiny Dixie cups at Sam's Club today. It was not thick enough or sweet enough for my taste. Instead I stopped off at Weigel's on the way home and bought two small containers of their egg nog, which went directly into my freezer.

This past August, I finally drank the Weigel's egg nog I had frozen in 2005. At four ounces per serving, it took me four days to finish the pint. It still tasted great, which is why I decided to freeze two pints this year. Like two years ago, I wanted to find bottles with an expiration date of 12-25. They only had 12-20, 12-22 and 12-29. I almost didn't buy any. Fortunately I got over my little obsessive moment and bought the 12-29 since it would be freshest.

I know that I will have to watch my calories for the rest of my life. It's tough this time of year because of the abundance of treats to tempt my sweet tooth. I would love to have a scoop of egg nog ice cream at Baskin-Robbins but I'm not sure if I'll get around to it. My starchy dance card has been filled lately with things like the slice of pie I had at the company Christmas party tonight, the piece of cake I had after Tuesday's improv show or the Christmas cookies our family will bake in the week ahead.

Another treat I'm curious to try but probably won't is boiled custard. I'm not exactly sure what it would taste like, although I did find a recipe on a blog that described it as egg nog without the nog. Does that mean it tastes like just egg? I saw some boiled custard at Kroger the other day, alongside some pumpkin egg nog. That's something else I would like to try but I won't buy a half gallon container. I might be tempted to drink the whole thing.

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Blogger Hoots said...

Thanks for linking, Frank. That was my recipe for boiled custard and to my surprise it's getting about forty or fifty hits a day from Google searches. There seems to be a lot of interest in boiled custard this time of year.

Like anything else, the first time you make it seems like a lot of trouble, but later you realize how simple it really is. Think of it as a mini-lesson in learning why technology is making scratch cooking obsolete.

Those of us in the food business (nearly forty years for me) have watched helplessly, as quality edges down and prices go up. All in the name of consistency and time saving. Real cooking takes more time to set-up, clean-up, serve and clean-up again...than actual cooking.

Cooking is becoming obsolete. A few months ago we ran out of ranch dressing where I work. We bring it in by the gallon, refrigerated, already made. One day we were running out, so I mixed up some from a package, buttermilk and mayo (directions are on the package). A couple of young employees wanted to know where I got it. When I said I made it they were shocked, amazed! They had no idea you could MAKE the stuff. They thought it had to be made in a factory.

Amusing, maybe, but sad when you think about it. Yet another illustration that even the poorest among us take for granted basic human activities like cooking that separate us from the developing world.

Back to boiled custard, after you have some straight (be sure to taste it hot as well as refrigerated) try it as a mixer. A shot of bourbon is a good way to start but the possibilities are endless.


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