S1E27 – Christmas Eggnog

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! To end the year we are taking a break from our usual discussions and instead are delving into the culinary world of Eggnog, that classic, American Christmas cocktail. This is a drink that has been part of Mon-Chaio's and Andy's winter-time traditions for almost two decades and gives them a chance to geek out about cooking and food chemistry. While eggnog is the focus of attention, we also delve a little into egg handling, woodworking, and pasteurization. Eggnog I Recipe 5 eggs 5 oz / 142g Sugar 2 cups / 500ml Brandy 1 cup / 250ml Milk 1 cup / 250ml Heavy/Double Cream Nutmeg References: The Williamsburg Art of Cookery – https://shop.colonialwilliamsburg.com/the-williamsburg-art-of-cookery/ On Food and Cooking – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Food_and_Cooking Milk Paint – https://oldfashionedmilkpaint.co.uk/ — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/tactics-tech-leadership/message


Andrew Parker: [00:00:00] Welcome to another episode of the TTL podcast, where we’re going to talk about a very important tech topic, which is eggnog. it is a tech topic, isn’t it Mon Chaio? I’m,

Mon-Chaio: It became a tech topic I think we put it into the tech vernacular in the early 2000s, I think.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, it was about 2006, that we brought it into the XP parlance. But no, actually, seriously, we’re, we’re going to be just doing a fun little episode to end out the year. We will be talking about eggnog. We’ll tell you a little bit about the drink, a bit about how it became slightly a tradition for us. And just any other [00:01:00] random topics. So Mon Chiao, I think we should warn them about that and then say, next year you can come back and we will be back on our regularly scheduled rambling talks about technical leadership.

But for now, to end off the year for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we’re just going to talk about eggnog and whatever else comes up.

Mon-Chaio: Absolutely. For those that stumbled onto this episode but it’s not their cup of tea, happy holidays and we won’t be back next week, but we’ll be back in the first week of the new year and we’ll see you all then.

But we do extort for you to stay. Because I, we, I do think, and we do think eggnog is a very important topic.

Andrew Parker: And if it’s not their cup of tea, then my. Eggnog is not for them, because my eggnog has tea in it.

Mon-Chaio: Mm hmm. Yeah, so maybe we should start off there. So Andy, you are drinking a mason jar full of eggnog.

Andrew Parker: I probably, it is [00:02:00] inadvisable for me to finish this, but I, I, I’ve now poured it, so I think I have to finish it.

Mon-Chaio: And, at your time in the UK, this is perfect alcoholic eggnog drinking time,

Andrew Parker: Yeah, it’s 8pm here, so, it’s a good, it’s a good time for this. However for you, it’s noon?

And I see that you don’t have eggnog. I’m being let down here, Mon Chaio. You don’t have eggnog. Although I will give you some slack, because I know that you have an entire eggnog process. That I think the schedule for this show sped up and it just didn’t work out.

So what do you have instead?

Mon-Chaio: I have Our House Manhattan. So this is something that Kay and I keep in our house. We keep it pre mixed. Just Add Cherry. And you can’t see it because you’re listening through audio, of course. But it’s pretty small because, as Andy said, it is noon here. And I do have other things to get done through the day.

Oh, but we should mention that when we talk about eggnog, we are talking about alcoholic nog.[00:03:00]

Andrew Parker: Yes.

Mon-Chaio: not the other stuff.

Andrew Parker: No, I think, I think at this point we might want to tell people the story of how eggnog became a thing for us.

Mon-Chaio: Mm hmm.

Andrew Parker: And we’ll actually find out because we haven’t talked about this for a while. Do we remember the story the same way?

Mon-Chaio: Mm hmm.

Andrew Parker: Hmm.

Mon-Chaio: Who, who wants to start here? it

Andrew Parker: start because mine’s, mine’s pretty bare bones.

Mon-Chaio: Okay, okay. Mm

Andrew Parker: we were working at CarDomain, and I think, I think someone in the HR department for Christmas Decided to have an eggnog competition, but I’m not exactly sure. We had an eggnog competition. I don’t know who kicked it off.

Mon-Chaio: hmm.

Andrew Parker: Most people brought in store bought eggnog, and for the Americans, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

For the non Americans, store bought eggnog is something that you buy in a container. It looks like you’re buying milk, but then you pour it and it [00:04:00] has a disgusting, gloopy flavor and consistency. At least that’s my take on it.

Mon-Chaio: And I also feel like it tastes chemically.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, yeah, it has a very unnatural flavor. I know one person, I can’t remember who, brought in vodka to mix into the eggnog, and that’s how they made it alcoholic eggnog. But I had recently gotten a cookbook that I still have called The Williamsburg Art of Cookery. It’s from Colonial Williamsburg.

It’s a publication from them. They’re, they’re a historic recreation site on the East coast of the U. S. And they’d collected a whole bunch of recipes and they had an eggnog recipe. And I thought, Hey, why not make real eggnog? But after I read the recipe, I thought, there’s no way in hell Ooh, oh, I’ve sworn. [00:05:00] There’s no way there’s no way that I was going to use that full recipe, because it starts out with, Beat well the yolks of three dozen eggs. I was not going to beat three dozen egg yolks. I wasn’t gonna buy three dozen egg yolks. So, I cut it down to five egg yolks, and it made about, I think it makes about a gallon.

So I, I actually have a gallon of eggnog sitting in my fridge right now. But that, that was it. So we, we did the competition and I don’t remember which one won.

There was a lot of eggnog drunk that day.

Mon-Chaio: So, you’re right, we should talk about it because I think I remember it slightly differently. In my recollection, you had purchased this book.

Andrew Parker: Oh! Oh, did I instigated this?[00:06:00]

Mon-Chaio: So, yes, I think the genesis, not of the competition itself. I don’t know. The genesis of it, I don’t think Of the competition itself, I don’t think was necessarily you, but you had purchased this book and for whatever reason you decided to share with us that you had purchased this book Andy, I don’t know why you thought we would be interested I’m just joking, it was really interesting, I’ll tell you about the other part that’s interesting in a bit but we saw this eggnog recipe in it and then we said, well, we want to make this, so how can we,

Andrew Parker: How can we justify

Mon-Chaio: an excuse to make it and justify it.

And so we got everyone on board with the eggnog off. And you’re right. Whenever I, I do remember the Beat, Well, Three Dozen Eggs. And every time I think about that, and every time I make eggnog, I think about Beauty and the Beast. Are you familiar with that Disney cartoon?

Andrew Parker: Yeah, I’m trying to think of what part you’re [00:07:00] Is, is coming to mind for you though?

Mon-Chaio: So, do you recall Gaston? He’s the brutish

Andrew Parker: Oh, yeah. No one said it like Gaston. I can’t remember what

Mon-Chaio: That’s right. That’s right. And he has a section in that song, cause I can’t remember that whole song either. He says, Now that I’m grown, I eat five dozen eggs.

Andrew Parker: Yes!

Mon-Chaio: I’m roughly the size of a barge. Right? Um, so I think about that all the time.

Andrew Parker: All right. So,

Mon-Chaio: but, but but so I do think about that and I think we wanted an excuse to make it and we decided to have an eggnog off. The other interesting part about that is, do you remember what else we found in the book? I don’t even know that eggnog was the first thing that we found.

Andrew Parker: there’s so many things in this book. I, I

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, my recollection, my [00:08:00] recollection was one of the first things we found, either before eggnog or after, was something around potted meats. Where you take these meats and you bury them in the ground for weeks on end.

Probably after having corned them or something. But I do recall that also being in the book.

Andrew Parker: It’s, that, that sounds very likely. I don’t remember that. Let me see if I can find anything about this. Let’s see. Where would that be? Where would that be? iT’s not in Observations Upon Soups. Could be in Of Flesh and Fish.

Mon-Chaio: Huh.

Andrew Parker: Or it could be Of Preserving and Pickling.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, I think that’s probably more likely.

Andrew Parker: Yeah.

Oh, and by the way, eggnog is in the section titled, Of Health Drinking. Oh, before I continue to look for the the potted meats thing, I will bring up a little bit [00:09:00] more of why of health drinking is hilarious, given So you start with three dozen eggs, and then two and a half pounds of sugar. And then you use one pint of French brandy.

And then you need to add another half pound of sugar. To the egg whites. And then to the yolks, you need two quarts of milk and two quarts of cream. And one gallon of brandy. So, we have one gallon and a pint of alcohol,. That’s about four liters, four full liters, if not a little more. And then you have two quarts plus two quarts of cream, so you have a gallon of dairy.

And three dozen eggs. So, I think one person could drink that in a night. They’d be fine.

Mon-Chaio: I think I’ve modified the recipe slightly since then. Although it sounds like you are also using that same recipe as the base for your current tea eggnog [00:10:00] or whatnot.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, so, I’m, we, we must have made it a couple times, because in my cooking journal which was much more meticulously kept around that time, I have two different eggnog recipes. I have eggnog one and eggnog two. Which I think must be that we tried it. And then decided, no, no, no, that’s not quite right, and then we did it differently. Eggnog 2 is not what I used this time. I used Eggnog 1. Because Eggnog 2 looks, looks a bit much. It’s only cream. There’s no milk.

Mon-Chaio: Interesting. Okay. That knowing how my eggnog turns out, yeah, that is a bit much.

Andrew Parker: But you, you have a, you have a long, drawn out process for your eggnog, don’t you?

Mon-Chaio: I do, and I’ll tell you that that book set me on some sort of eggnog journey which now will never end. [00:11:00] I think probably even more than for you because I don’t Have you made much eggnog prior to us deciding that we were going to do this show and you wanted to make an eggnog for it?

Andrew Parker: No, so in the intervening, what is it? That was about 2006. So this has been what, for 17 years?

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, right.

Andrew Parker: So in the intervening 17 years, I think I’ve made it twice or three times. I think you make it every year, don’t you?

Mon-Chaio: I do. I make it every year. So I don’t recall exactly how this happened. So it’s about 2006 that we started doing this. I don’t know how much I made it between 2006 and say 2009, 2010, somewhere around there. Maybe a few times. But 2009 was when I met Kay, who obviously is my wife now, but we weren’t married then.

And I can’t remember when the first year was that I was invited to her family Thanksgiving. They do a family Thanksgiving with some [00:12:00] of their family friends including her godparents and whatnot. And everybody brings something. Kay ends up bringing Swedish meatballs. I think my mother in law ends up bringing, like, seafood salad.

It’s just an eclectic thing. And then the hosts generally will do the turkey and, the mashed potatoes and whatnot. And other people will bring sides. By the way, is Thanksgiving a thing in the UK, or is that too sore of a subject and people don’t celebrate it?

Andrew Parker: of course it’s a thing. They give thanks that the U. S. left them.

Mon-Chaio: As they

Andrew Parker: it’s not. It’s Thanksgiving is an interesting topic because that’s where differences in culinary tradition start to show up.

Mon-Chaio: Wow. Maybe we’ll

Andrew Parker: I was just having a discussion today about differences in what stuffing is.

Mon-Chaio: Versus dressing, versus

Andrew Parker: no. Versus UK English stuffing versus American stuffing.

Mon-Chaio: Huh. Interesting.

Andrew Parker: Yeah. Yeah.

Mon-Chaio: this is why we’re always rambling. We learn something new all the time. But to get back on topic, What was my [00:13:00] topic? Oh, right. So, for those that don’t know in the U. S., Thanksgiving, there’s a giant turkey, which might be one of the worst fowl birds, foul to eat. but it is tradition.

And then there’s disgusting things like green bean casserole which

Andrew Parker: I’ve, I’ve cut that from my menu now because I just, I couldn’t, I couldn’t take it anymore. For tradition, I didn’t want to do it.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, some sort of yam stuff often with weird marshmallows broiled on top. It is a weird holiday, so we did bring sides and the sides are generally a little bit better, like I mentioned Swedish meatballs, but I was tasked with bringing something and that first year I brought eggnog. And this was my first iteration of eggnog, not even my current iteration. But based on that, I was told I would be never allowed back into Thanksgiving again without arriving with eggnog.

Andrew Parker: Oh. So, so you, you’re, you’re being, like, put under pressure to [00:14:00] continue this.

Mon-Chaio: Exactly. And it’s not, obviously it’s not just for me, right? Everyone has to bring their side, like Kay brings her Swedish meatballs every year. It’s not like she won’t be allowed in, but she’ll be frowned upon. I think I would actually be stopped at the gate and told to go home. And over the years, eggnog has really factored into sort of this this holiday back when Kay’s grandfather was still alive.

There was a really funny scene one year where he had tried the eggnog for the first time. He lived down in San Diego and he came up to Seattle for, for the celebration. And in the house where we do the celebration, there’s this easy chair. It’s, tufted and large and very comfortable with a footstool.

And he was 80 something at the time. And you just see him there on his third glass of eggnog, reclined, smiling, and quite asleep.

Andrew Parker: And if you have not had eggnog, when I read that recipe, you should be thinking that it’s pretty alcoholic. It [00:15:00] is. It is very alcoholic. It is. It’s probably just under 20%. I think you did the calculation once, you said. I guess about 18%.

Mon-Chaio: Oh, no, not the way I make it now.

Andrew Parker: Oh no. Okay. So what’s,

Mon-Chaio: Oh, sorry.

Andrew Parker: it now?

Mon-Chaio: No, no, you’re, you’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right. I was looking at different numbers cause I did two different calculations. Yeah. So my eggnog turns out to be just above 15%.

Andrew Parker: Okay.

Mon-Chaio: A glass of fortified wine, perhaps something around that.

Andrew Parker: except It’s so sweet and creamy, it just goes down.

Mon-Chaio: It really is. It’s very difficult to stop drinking. For Thanksgiving it ends up being a party of approximately 15 to 20, yeah, about 15 adults generally. And we will regularly go through about a gallon and a half of eggnog for that group. And that’s not the only alcoholic beverage [00:16:00] there.

Wine is served, in fact this year there were these cocktails served that some people drank a lot of and didn’t even partake in eggnog. And we went through about a gallon and a half, so.

Andrew Parker: So, so what is your, what is this multiply iterated recipe now?

Mon-Chaio: So, why don’t I just give everyone my recipe? Because I don’t think it’s super secret. And I’ll just, and then I’ll tell you the technique. So, it’s very similar to your Eggnog 1 recipe. In fact, that’s where it started from. I think it just really has probably one additional egg yolk. So,

Andrew Parker: you go to six rather than five?

Mon-Chaio: right, I go to 6 rather than 5.

And I usually, because of the crowd, have to make a double batch, but This ends up being about, like Andy was saying, about a gallon of eggnog here. So, you take six egg yolks, and you beat it with one cup of sugar. Best if you can use superfine sugar or baking sugar, just because when you cream egg yolks, [00:17:00] it makes a difference in terms of how grainy it is and once you add the alcohol in, the sugar, the dissolving of the sugar doesn’t, it doesn’t continue to dissolve in the same way, so if you can get them creamed in with superfine sugar, that’s great, so six egg yolks a cup of sugar, and then what I do is I add in a pint of brandy and a cup of rum. the important thing here is to drizzle them in slowly, so it doesn’t curdle the egg yolks. And we can talk about why that is, about curdling. But you don’t want curdles. You do end up, I do end up straining out the small bits of curdles that you get, but like, the best thing to do is try not to get curdles.

I’ve never been successful, no matter how slowly I drizzle, to not get any. But I can keep it pretty small. So, a pint of brandy, a cup of rum, drizzle that in stir it all up. And then what I do is I bottle that up and I leave it for a year.

Andrew Parker: Just, just the egg yolk, sugar, and alcohol.

Mon-Chaio: Egg yolk, sugar, and alcohol, right? I actually keep it in the back of my fridge. I’ve heard people keep eggnog, not necessarily this mixture, [00:18:00] but other mixtures in their garage or whatever. I’m assuming that the garage doesn’t get super hot, but I keep it. In the fridge for a year. And then about 24 to 48 hours before I’m serving the eggnog, I will take that mixture out, shake it up, and then strain it. I’ll add one cup, one pint of cream. And what I’m using now is actually heavy whipping cream. So about 44 percent milk fat. And then one pint of whole milk, which is about 4 percent milk fat. So your dairy ends up being somewhere around, I think 30 some odd percent dairy. Is that, is that right? Sorry.

Let’s see,

48 so we end up

Andrew Parker: No, you’d end, you’d end, you’d end up being about about

Mon-Chaio: about 24. 24, 24 percent dairy is where we end up here. So a pint of 44 percent cream, a pint of whole milk I end up mixing those in. And then I take 6 egg whites. I beat them to soft peaks, not [00:19:00] hard peaks, and then I end up folding that in pretty well into the eggnog mixture and then serve with a ladle and grated nutmeg on top.

So that’s my eggnog recipe. The aging over a year really does wonders. There’s a number of different things, I think. One is I don’t use fancy alcohol in my eggnogs, and so it does soften the flavors, and really the, the flavors are quite different. It ends up being I don’t know, it’s like caramelly and nutty at the same time.

Andrew Parker: Hmm.

Mon-Chaio: so it’s super interesting. I’ve tried non aged and aged, and I think the aged is quite a bit better. Also for for those people that worry about salmonella, which, in eggs, which I don’t think you actually should. I think both in the U. S. and U. K. now, salmonella in eggs is super, super, super low, even in raw eggs.

Um, but if you look at the

Andrew Parker: UK, UK does a different approach. All of Europe does a different approach. They don’t wash the eggs

Mon-Chaio: oh, they

Andrew Parker: and they don’t wash the [00:20:00] eggs, which is actually important for keeping the salmonella out. So eggs have a membrane on the outside of the shell, and the washing that’s done in the U. S., which cleans off all, like, feathers and all of that, because in the U.

K. you buy eggs, you’ll sometimes find a feather with it, and like little smears on the egg and that kind of thing but when they wash the eggs, that membrane gets washed off, the egg shell is porous, and then that’s how salmonella gets in much more easily.

Mon-Chaio: Makes sense. Makes sense to me. bUt to continue the last part, if you are worried, again, I don’t think you really should be. The rates are super low. Apparently it takes approximately three weeks of sitting in alcohol in order to kill all the Salmonella,

Andrew Parker: So your, your one year is more than adequate.

Mon-Chaio: hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Andrew Parker: Okay. Yeah. So that’s, that is fairly similar to the eggnog one. [00:21:00] Other than, other than, actually the two parts that are really different. One is the straining. That wasn’t something we did, and I, that sounds like a really good idea. Because it can get a little grainy if you’re not careful. And the other one is the one year.

I think, I think I went for, on this one, it was maybe a week or a few days. The one I have now, I, I let age for about three weeks.

Mon-Chaio: Oh, okay. Okay.

Andrew Parker: Yeah.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah. And a lot of people I’ve read age their eggnog with dairy for a year or three months or however long they age it. I’m a little bit So we, we did the calculations, right? It’s about 15 and a half percent ABV with the dairy. Wine

Andrew Parker: a lot of stuff, but, mm.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah. And I would imagine that also the taste sort of changes.

You might imagine With the alcohol interacting with, like, the dairy proteins, you [00:22:00] probably get a different taste and texture over a year with your dairy in it. I’m just not brave enough to try that. Without the dairy, with the egg mixture it ends up being about 32 percent ABV. So, I feel pretty confident in that about a 64 proof mixture being fairly safe from contamination.

Andrew Parker: Yeah. Yeah. sO, that’s, that’s the one you’ll be serving next year, because you’ve already served the one for this year.

Mon-Chaio: Correct, yes.

Andrew Parker: I, this year, tried out, I decided I wanted to do something a little different, and I thought, What would be fun with eggnog? And I, well, eggnog is a lot of milk, and I like making chai.

Mon-Chaio: Mm

Andrew Parker: So, chai is a lot of milk. Milk is a very important component in making chai taste right, the spiced tea. So, I decided to try out putting some ginger, cinnamon, clove, star anise, and [00:23:00] cardamom, and, oh, and black peppercorns, into my rum and let that sit for a few weeks. And then use that rum, so I do about half rum, half brandy.

Or one, one third, two third, somewhere around there rum and brandy. And so my rum was spiced, and it was a dark spiced rum. Well, dark rum that I spiced. And then, that then I let sit for a couple weeks with the, with the egg yolks and the sugar. And then I made The milk, not the cream, just the milk, because I didn’t want the cream to start separating, I made a tea.

So I heated it up, essentially I, I, I scalded the milk with tea inside it, in it. So, it changed color a little bit, and then you got the scalding effect, which I can’t, I was looking in Harold McGee’s On [00:24:00] Cooking to figure out what does scalding exactly do to milk.

Mon-Chaio: hmm.

Andrew Parker: And, and he didn’t have anything about what scalding does to milk.

I was like, this is a, this is a thing called for in so many recipes, and he does not cover what does scalding do to milk. So I have no idea what it does to milk

Mon-Chaio: Interesting.

Andrew Parker: I scalded the milk with the tea in it. And then I did the whole mixing it all together and. Oh, And then I serve it with a little grating of nutmeg on top. And what I’ve ended up with is, there’s just this subtle cinnamon and cardamom flavor. It gets overpowered by all of the other things going on. So, I’m not sure it was really worth it. It’s a fun thing to do, but I was hoping something would have a little bit more of the spice flavor going.

Mon-Chaio: So, let me rewind here. So you definitely infused your alcohol with that flavoring.

Andrew Parker: [00:25:00] Mm hmm.

Mon-Chaio: Then you did the scalded milk, and then when hot you mixed your alcohol into the milk.

Andrew Parker: No, I let the milk cool.

Mon-Chaio: You let the milk cool, and then you mixed your alcohol into the milk. So,

Andrew Parker: Yeah.

Mon-Chaio: interesting.

Andrew Parker: Oh, and I forgot to say that the rum also had a fresh ginger bruised and then shoved into the bottle as well.

Mon-Chaio: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I’m curious whether adding more of these spices into the milk.

Andrew Parker: Hmm.

Mon-Chaio: I’ve actually looked up scalded milk here just while we were talking. And it says it’s typically scalded to increase temperature, change consistency because of denaturing of protein. So, I don’t actually know if you have to do that.

Andrew Parker: yeah, I, I know it changes something about the milk. Cause you’re, you’re basically, you’re hitting the pasteurization temperature.

Mon-Chaio: Mm hmm. But most of the dairy, at least in the U. S., is Already pasteurized

Andrew Parker: So maybe that’s what it, since the, since the milk is already pasteurized, it doesn’t do much to it anymore.[00:26:00]

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, I would imagine that’s probably true.

Andrew Parker: Hmm.

Mon-Chaio: again, there could be something with like, because ultra pasteurization is like a high temperature for two seconds, right? So, maybe holding it at temp does something else to the proteins, but,

Andrew Parker: Yeah. There’s the different pasteurization methods. And he did talk about those. There’s the low temperature, longer time pasteurization, and there’s the ultra high temperature pasteurization, which, as he said, you get it up there just a few seconds and then you bring it back down.

Mon-Chaio: Well, and I would say that for my eggnog recipe, I don’t, I think you could probably do it without alcohol. I think you might have to change some of the ratios But for yours, I would definitely not do it without alcohol Because I think that a lot of the spices that you’re using which i’m not using have alcohol soluble flavors and oils and stuff.

So I think it’s super important to use alcohol in yours Otherwise you just get I guess chai, right?

Andrew Parker: well, I think, I think one of the things I could do is lower the alcohol. [00:27:00] Because the heat, I think it’s the heat of the alcohol is taking over the spice flavor.

Mon-Chaio: Interesting.

Andrew Parker: With the lower alcohol, I’d still, I’d get those alcohol soluble flavors and all of that, still get a little bit of the kick. But if I can get it to the point where the heat is just in the background,

Mon-Chaio: hmm.

Andrew Parker: the, then the spices might come through.

Mon-Chaio: And what are you using like fancy, or you said you were using a dark rum, right?

Andrew Parker: It’s a, it’s a Captain Morgan’s dark rum.

Mon-Chaio: That’s probably food coloring, I would

Andrew Parker: Very likely. Yeah.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah. You might, you might try like an aged rum which has had some of the edge taken off through,

you know, barrel aging or whatnot. That might be something to try.

But is it enjoyable? You have a mason jar of it right there.

Andrew Parker: It is. I had some last night, because I figured I can’t get on here tonight and do this entire show and have never tasted it before. Because it could have been, it could have been poison. And I might have had to throw it away and make [00:28:00] another batch. So, no, it is good enough to have it multiple nights in a row.

My sleep does not appreciate this. I don’t sleep well when I have alcohol, so.

Mon-Chaio: I have a,

Andrew Parker: drinking almost a pint of, of eggnog is not going to do well,

Mon-Chaio: well, and I have a buddy that now only drinks in the morning because his sleep, if he drinks past noon, his sleep is bad with alcohol. And I’m like, why bother at all? When do you drink in the morning? I don’t even know how that works. So, do you still do the egg white thing where you beat the egg whites and fold them in at the end or?

Andrew Parker: Yeah, I did do that and I, and the, a lot of the recipes called for beat them until they’re stiff,

Mon-Chaio: Mm

Andrew Parker: uh, which I always took as stiff peaks you, you, you mentioned until soft peaks. And so I tried that this time and yeah, it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. I think I, I think I went slightly past the, the soft peaks though.

It’s so hard to hit that[00:29:00]

Mon-Chaio: It really is. And the trick I’ve learned, I don’t know, did you do them, did you do them by hand or by machine?

Andrew Parker: I did them by machine. Sorry. I think I have a little bit of spice in my tooth.

Mon-Chaio: Mm

Andrew Parker: I did them by machine, because, to go off on another random topic I had used my, my hand whisk, I was in the wood shop, because I was mixing up milk paint with it.

Mon-Chaio: My hand whisk was in my wood shop. That is something I don’t think I’ll hear for another 20 years, Andy.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, so, so yesterday, when I, when I was putting the egg whites in, I, I was spending most of the day going back and forth to the wood shop that I have as I was painting the tool chest I’ve been making, Which if anyone follows me on LinkedIn, You would have seen a Picture last week, or what it has been, the week of the 11th, 11th of December, there was a picture that I posted, something about taking small [00:30:00] steps, and there was a picture of dovetails.

That was the toolbox that I was making. And so yesterday I was finishing it up. The day before, I had put the dovetails together, and I, I, I cut the feet, and so the dovetail Sorry. I should explain what this is. I’m making a tool chest. The tool chest body itself is nailed together.

it’s, it’s rebated and nailed. The bottom is shiplapped and nailed on. The top is a panel construction. So it’s a groove inside the sides, and the panel sits in there, it floats in there, so they can move. Then it needed feet to hold it off the ground, and to do that I made like a little skirt that goes around the whole base, and those four pieces of the skirt are dovetailed together, and then cut so that they have, like, a little bit more levity to them, a little lightness.

So they just are feet rather than just like this solid monolith. [00:31:00] And yesterday, I finally got it to the point where I could paint it. To paint it, I decided, because I never want to make anything simple, I want to do something different every single time. So to paint it, I decided I want to try using milk paint.

It’s a traditional paint. And I guess this kind of sticks on the milk theme that we’re having for this.

Mon-Chaio: Mm-Hmm.

Andrew Parker: Uh, so milk paint is an, it’s a paint that’s been used for millennia. I’ve, I’ve heard people say that it goes all the way back to like ancient Egyptians. It’s You, basically, you make cheese. You make ricotta or paneer, if you’ve ever made those.

So, both of those are milk heated up, and then you add an acid. Ricotta, it’s generally lemon. In paneer, it’s generally vinegar. And that curdles the milk. So you strain that off, and then to that you start adding, I think it was lime. You add a little lime. [00:32:00] And you mix that together, and then you add some water, and you do some other stuff.

And it’s just a couple of things, like there’s some clay or something, I think, that goes in. And then pigment. And then that’s the paint.

Mon-Chaio: Okay. Mm-Hmm?

Andrew Parker: So, uh, you can buy it now as powder, and you mix it with water. And it’s The powder is somewhat hydroscopic,

Mon-Chaio: Okay.

Andrew Parker: it doesn’t like mixing. Hydrophobic? Hydro Hydro

Mon-Chaio: hydrophobic. Doesn’t, like, doesn’t like mixing with water. Yeah.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, so it doesn’t like mixing with water, so it takes a bit, so I used my whisk. So I didn’t have my whisk to whisk my egg whites by hand, because I was painting a tool chest.

Mon-Chaio: Okay, so you didn’t have your hand whisk. But tip for next time. One good way to make sure that you hit your peaks is I used to be pretty militant about beating by hand because I have this like [00:33:00] What I call it, like, terrible streak in me where I have to do things traditionally or whatnot.

Masochistic? Is that what they call it? Sort

Andrew Parker: I think you should try woodworking.

Mon-Chaio: But but I, I’m trying to wean myself off of a lot of these. And so generally what I do now is start with machine.

And then finish by hand and that, that, that ends up working pretty well. But I think the soft peaks are important. Over the years, I found that if I end up not getting soft peaks, I end up with this raft of egg white foam that floats on top of the eggnog.

Andrew Parker: Oh, you don’t get that with the soft peaks.

Mon-Chaio: no, you don’t. You have to fold them in pretty well. But then you don’t get that with the soft peaks. You might get a small one, but no, it looks like it’s like bubbles, tiny bubbles within the eggnog all the way down,

Andrew Parker: Oh, that’s, yeah, that’s, that’s what I want. Because right now, like, when I poured my eggnog tonight, the first thing I had to do was with the [00:34:00] ladle, mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it to try to get that back in. And of course, unless I was willing to stand there for about ten minutes, it wasn’t all going to go in.

Mon-Chaio: Right, and it’s, it’s tricky. You’ll have to figure out what the right whipped egg white what would you call it? Thickness or whatever is. You need, you should get it there where once you fold, so when you first dump it in, obviously it’s gonna float. But once you end up folding it in, it should be not completely homogenized, but fairly homogenized. I’ve actually tried different other things. So if you look online, there’s some sort of single serving eggnog recipes. And one year, my sister in law and my brother in law, I’m pretty sure this was during COVID, made me send them eggnog mix down because, they couldn’t come up for Thanksgiving. This is what I have to deal with now with this eggnog. Although, if they’re listening, to be fair to them, they didn’t, they didn’t come up this year and they didn’t make me send it down this year. So, but that one [00:35:00] year they were like, send it down. So I set the I’m pretty sure I just sent the mix down to them without the dairy, right?

And I said, okay, you mix the dairy in at the end. But since I sent it down in smaller quantities, I didn’t really know like how many egg whites or whatever. So I basically said, hey, look, keep this in your fridge when you want to take it out. Put this amount in a cocktail shaker or. Put an egg white in a cocktail shaker, shake it up, and then put the eggnog mix in, and then shake it up. And a lot of like, and a lot of single serving eggnog recipes do that. If you do, it’s not bad, but it’s not the same. You don’t get the same frothiness,

Andrew Parker: Yeah, you, well, you won’t, unless you’re going to be standing there with your cocktail shaker for about 20 minutes, I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere close to soft peaks with your egg.

Mon-Chaio: Right. And so even though you can get frothiness on a cocktail shaker for certain cocktails or whatever it’ll do okay with the eggnog, but your best bet is really to try to beat them to soft peaks or right around there.

Andrew Parker: Well, we’ve been going for a little while on this now. [00:36:00] I’m thinking that we should let people go and have their Christmas and their New Year, or whatever they’re doing when they listen to this show.

Mon-Chaio: huH. Huh. I agree.

Andrew Parker: So, so is there, is there any last tip that we’d, we’d leave anyone with?

Mon-Chaio: So one last tip on the eggnog front that I’ll leave someone with. Store bought eggnog is generally terrible. At least in the US. I don’t know if they even have this in the UK. Do

Andrew Parker: they?

don’t. Oh, we didn’t even touch on that. No, this is not really known over here at all. So

Mon-Chaio: Even though eggnog started with, like, 13th century monks or whatever which obviously we’re not here.

Andrew Parker: well, I, I’ve done a little bit of looking into this and from what I found and what I heard. People aren’t exactly sure where eggnog came from. Oh, so Max Miller, Tasting History, did an episode two years ago on eggnog,

Mon-Chaio: Mm[00:37:00]

Andrew Parker: and he always does cook something or make a drink and then talk about the history of it.

So he talked about the history of eggnog, and the answer is it first showed up 17th century, 1700s? No, 1700s, not 17th century, United States. Well, colonies. As just a word, it didn’t, no one knows where the words came from. The best the best idea of what Nog is, according to him, is that Nog was dialect in, I think it was Norwich of the UK for for a beer.

So, egg beer. That doesn’t really make much sense. So, we, we don’t really know where it came from. We just know that it, it really does show up in the U. S. and in the Colonies, but it never really showed up elsewhere. There are cooked eggnogs or cooked alcoholic custards, I guess it would be.

Cause, oh, if anyone is thinking, what the hell, why are you drinking [00:38:00] this? This is just an uncooked custard with a lot of alcohol in it.

Mon-Chaio: Yes.

Andrew Parker: So you can also cook it. You can, you can, you can make more of a creme anglaise, which in the UK is just, just called custard. Which always, I still find that just weird.

Custard to me is a solid thing, not a flowy thing. But you could make creme anglaise and add a bunch of alcohol.

Mon-Chaio: wHich essentially is, well, this is not cooked, but right.

Andrew Parker: Yeah, it’s not cooked if you did the cooking. So yeah, no one, as far as I know, no one really knows where this came from. It just showed up.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, and nog comes from, like, grog or, like, a strong beer, so you’ve heard that,

Andrew Parker: So Egg Grog, he addresses that one. It didn’t show up until like 1950 as an explanation.

Mon-Chaio: Oh, interesting.

Andrew Parker: So it’s pretty unlikely to, and there’s nothing, there’s [00:39:00] no point in time where anyone wrote egg grog,

Mon-Chaio: Mm. That makes


Andrew Parker: blows it out of the water as a possibility.

Mon-Chaio: Makes sense. Yeah, what I’ve heard is that it comes from a medieval Britain thing called posset.

Andrew Parker: Yep, poset. Yep.

pOsets around here sometimes.

Mon-Chaio: okay.

Andrew Parker: it’s a very fancy thing. With

Mon-Chaio: one theory that I read was that the U. S. just, Had a lot of cows and chickens and farms and farmland and so

Andrew Parker: an excess of cream, what are you gonna do with it? You’re gonna get

Mon-Chaio: methods, right Exactly Okay, but oh and going back to your creme anglaise thing I think you told me that there is a Dutch drink which is essentially a cooked cream eggnog type thing, right?

Andrew Parker: Aquavat, or however it’s pronounced.

Mon-Chaio: Or Avocado. Mm

Yeah, it’s definitely cooked. So I, I would call it a [00:40:00] cooked eggnog. And for cooked eggnogs, I think because of folks who know when you cook custard, when you make creme anglaise, it gets a little bit thicker and you get that different mouthfeel. That is a way to avoid doing the egg white thing. But I don’t think it’s quite the same. It’s a little bit more,

Andrew Parker: more

Mon-Chaio: I don’t want to, I was going to use the word cloying, but Yeah it coats

Andrew Parker: You were trying not to.

Mon-Chaio: was saying. Exactly, exactly. The mouth feels a little different. It’s a little heavier on the tongue, I would say.

Do you have an eggnog tip? Or maybe a non eggnog tip?

Andrew Parker: I think my non eggnog tip is experiment with milk paint.

It’s, it’s cool. It’s, it’s interesting. So, uh, I, I put a base color of red on my toolbox and then I did a color of black over the top. And so as it gets dings and scuffs and wear, a little bit of red will show through. [00:41:00] And yeah, now I’m putting boiled linseed over it to give it a bit of a sheen because it’s a very matte look.

In fact, it was so matte that the pictures of my toolbox, it looked like a black hole.

Mon-Chaio: Is there a specific time when you would say, use milk paint because it looks different, or like its properties are different? Like, would you paint your, the interior of a house with it, for example?

Andrew Parker: I probably wouldn’t see the interior of the house. Like, furniture, it’s pretty, it’s pretty standard for furniture. In fact, a lot of the distressed look furniture, they’re using an egg not an egg they’re using a milk paint.

Mon-Chaio: Gotcha.

Andrew Parker: using an eggnog paint.

Mon-Chaio: You got egg on the mind, man.

Andrew Parker: But you don’t have to do it in that distressed look. You, you can just paint it on, use a paste wax, and get a nice matte, but slightly sheen look. And for eggnog, I would say just do it. just just find a recipe online. Don’t be afraid of it. Just give it a [00:42:00] try and go for it.

Mon-Chaio: Yeah, in the US, again, I’ll just mention, it is a completely different drink in my experience than store bought. So even if you hate store bought eggnog and would never drink it like me, do it, as Andy said. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Andrew Parker: All right. At this point, I think we need to wrap it up. We went 10 minutes past the point where I said, let’s try to wrap this up. So. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and we will see you again in January.

Until next time, be kind and stay curious.



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