My Grandmother Laura’s Eggnog
My Dad was a huge eggnog fan. The first thing he wanted when Christmas and eggnog time of the year rolled around was to ask my Mom to buy some.
I was in the kitchen with my Mom one day looking for a salad recipe and found stuck to the back of another very old recipe card my Dad’s Mom, my Grandma Laura’s recipe for eggnog. The paper was well worn and you could tell it was used hundreds of times. My Mom told me that it had been my Dad’s favorite eggnog recipe, but she had been unable to find it for years. She hadn’t made it often, in those days it was very expensive to make, and over time the recipe got misplaced.
I dove right in and made it for my Dad. When he tasted it, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and he said “this tastes just like my Mother’s.” I told him it was – we had found the recipe. Every Christmas after that until he died, we would make this amazing eggnog as a Christmas treat. But, you know what? I always got a kick out of watching my Dad light up every time he took that first sip.
- 8-10 plum tomatoes
- 2 good size heirlooms or 16 grape style tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- pinch or sugar and salt mixed together
- 1/2 clove or garlic, smashed
- 3 tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock,a good quality with low sodium
- 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 2-3 ounces any soft triple cream or brie cheese or even a blue cheese.
- 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade for garnishing the salads, roll leaves sliced thinly.
- pink salt for finishing this salad, it compliments the tomatoes perfectly and does not add too much sodium
- a small crack of fresh pepper
- Heat your oven to 275 degrees.
- Put tomatoes on a baking sheet with silpat or a piece of parchment paper. Spread the tomatoes out and it is always pretty to leave the vines in tact with 2 tomatoes to each set.
- Drizzle the tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with the salt and sugar mixture. You don’t need to much.
- Spread the thyme sprigs around the tomatoes and roast in the oven for at least 1 hour or until it is just soft, but not so soft that they will fall apart.
- Slice the heirlooms or if you are using grape tomatoes halve them and set them aside.
- When you are ready to assemble your salad, everything should be a tad warm except the fresh tomatoes should be room temp.
- Heat the stock and when it bubbles, not boils, add the vinegar.
- Put your cheese and smashed garlic in a blender and add the very warm stock a little at a time until you achieve a thick but pourable cheese dressing/sauce.
- Arrange your plates and spoon the cheese sauce over the tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil and pink salt.
The alcohol content in this eggnog is hefty. Please be sure and use very good spirits so the flavors are true. It would be a sin to spend the time and trouble making this and then have it taste awful due to cheap alcohol. It is the Holidays (only once a year!) and enjoying this eggnog will warm your heart and soul.
Back in the 1930’s when my Dad would have been enjoying this beverage, it was very cold at Christmastime and eggnog was served a tad warmer. You can try it, too, but be careful heating it up, it could curdle if it gets to hot. You just want to take the chill off of it. I remember the warm feeling from the Cognac as it went down. I love mine warm but having it cold or room temperature is always your choice.
Merry Christmas and Very Happy Holidays to you and yours!!