Friday, December 11, 2009

A Tale of Two Egg Nogs

This is Old Mr. Boston's best recipe for egg nog, circa 1941. OMB does want you to know that this eggnog is really festive - both Christmassy and Yulesy. And there is an extra 'g' in Nog, because it is extra good! And many, many extra capital letters. But there is something more, too. A strange ingredient. And that is the Baking Soda:

Christmas Yule Egg Nogg

Beat the yolks and whites of 1 Dozen Eggs separately and then pour together and add:

1 Pinch Baking Soda
6 oz. Old Mr. Boston Imported Rum
2 lbs. Granulated Sugar

and then beat into stiff lather.* Then add:

1 qt. Milk
1 qt. Sweet Cream
2 qts. Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon Whiskey and stir. Set in refrigerator overnight. Before serving, stir again, and serve in 4 oz. Punch glasses, and grate Nutmeg on top.

OK, so what is with the Baking Soda? I have been checking recipes for egg nog - well, not all day. Actually, I've been dragging around shopping for all sorts of stupid little things that we seem to need...but I did check some recipes. And none of them call for baking soda. Unless it is an eggnog cake. But this is not cake, Old Mr. Boston!

But OMB does not stop at Baking Soda! He is an egg nog innovator! Behold  the wonder of his cider- infused nog:

Cider Egg Nogg

1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Powdered Sugar
1/4 pt. Milk

Shake well with cracked Ice and strain into 12 oz. Tom Collins glass. Then fill glass with Sweet Cider. Grate Nutmeg on top.

Has anyone seen anything like this in a recipe? Mixing eggnog with things like cider or baking soda? Why would you do this? What is the point? Cider and eggnog belong in separate glasses. And baking soda is for - well, for baking. Hence the name.

The Borden's Eggnog picture is from the 1970s; the punch bowl picture is from a 1960s ad (I can be more specific if you really want to go find them). Now, Borden's ads are a whole 'nother kettle of eggnog - starring Elsie the Cow and her rageball husband. Talk about dysfunctional bovines! We'll look in on them in another post. Because there are some hilarious Christmas ads starring Elsie et al from the 1950s. Coming up soon, so stay tuned! 

*Yeah, um...whatever. That's kind of a strange cooking direction. though.


TheWordWire said...

You know, egg nogg -- even with two g's -- wasn't that appealing to me before I knew about the pinch of baking soda. Now all I can think about is the box of arm & hammer soaking up odors in my fridge. Though I appreciate a talented "egg nog innovator," I will not be trying this recipe at home.

Enjoyed your post.

vanilla said...

"strange" indeed.

Personally, I think it's the rum. Scramble the dozen eggs.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Egg Nog should only *ever* contain three "g"s. It can be Egg Nog or Eg Nogg. But never Egg Nogg.

Hm. Actually, "Eg Nogg" sounds like it ought to be a Celtic goddess.

The baking soda things a bit weird, but if you put enough liquor in the Eg Nogg, I probably wouldn't mind! :D

Lidian said...

TheWordWire - I have a box of baking soda in the fridge, too. It will not be enhancing any holiday (or other) drinks, though.

Lidian said...

vanilla - I really have no idea what the baking soda is about...

Richard - That would work for me too ;)

aldon @ orient lodge said...

After a long involved discussion about the optimum egg nog recipes, it was agreed upon here, as well, that baking soda does not belong in egg nog.

We also discussed whether Egg Nog with Egg Beaters, for our relatives with egg allergies would be acceptable. Decision: undecided.

Egg nog with just the whites might be better.

Lidian said...

Aldon - I just saw that they make soy milk based egg nog without any egg in it - I think the brand is Soy Nice but am not sure if you get it in the US (I'm in Canada). I don't know what it's like but it is lower in calories and fat than regular eggnog (which is something that can be said of almost any beverage, really!) - since one of my kids is lactose-intolerant we might try it.

Emm said...

Baking sosa is bicarb right? We put that in peas to make them mushy. I wonderif it has something to do with that... Or maybe it is to combat the indigestion from eating raw egg with milk?

I still love egg nog.

The Exaggerator said...

Interesting Linguistic Note:

The English English term for egg nog is "egg flip" for some reason or another.

Lidian said...

Emm - Those are both possible - I have no idea!

The Exaggerator - I think there is a Brandy Flip recipe in the OMB book. Wikipedia says that it was originally a mixture of beer, sugar and rum that frothed up, hence the "flip" name. Later on the distinction was that eggnog had cream and an egg flip did not - otherwise they were about the same.

The Wikipedia entry lists a whole lotta Flips, BTW. I had no idea!

Epicanis ( ) said...

If I had to guess, I would say the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is there to add alkalinity to help stabilize the eggs and keep them from coagulating when you mix them with the mildly acidic rum in the first portion of the recipe.

I'm also guessing that if one mixed in the rum after mixing in the dairy ingredients this probably wouldn't be an issue. I wonder if it would make a difference in the final product's flavor or texture?

I'm afraid I haven't got the ingredients to actually experiment directly here at the moment...

Elise said...

That's "Elsie the Cow," not Elise. :-)

Barbara said...

Seriously, we're debating baking soda when we should be debating the amount of booze in the recipe! Too much - or too little?

Lidian said...

Elise - Thank you, of course! Will fix this right now :)

Barbara - The amount of booze is really much more important than baking soda!

Anonymous said...

There should be no debate about the baking soda, you must use it! My family has been making this eggnog since 1950. We missed the baking soda once and will never do it again. It just does not taste as good without it. This recipe is the recipe that eggnog haters will love. Make sure you let the mix at least a week before drinking.