Living somewhere foreign is an excellent way to challenge yourself to make more foods from scratch. While living in Japan, I missed North American food so very much (though I definitely like Japanese food as well). At times, I went to great lengths to make something that tasted like home.
Like the time I made my own wheat-free lasagna noodles because I was 10 weeks pregnant and craving lasagna like nobody's business. Or my attempt to re-create a Thanksgiving "turkey" by covering up a mound of stuffing with slices of chicken breast, then wrapping with foil and baking (the answer is a resounding NO, it didn't work, but at least I thought it was a valiant effort to make up for the unavailability of whole chickens/turkeys for roasting).
My most successful recreation attempt, however, was for that undeniably delicious and oh-so-Christmas-sy of drinks, egg nog. My husband hasn't stopped talking about it in nearly 6 years, so I guess it must have made an impression! We wanted to surprise our Japanese friends, so we threw a Christmas party in our itsy bitsy apartment and made them goodies like chocolate dipped shortbread cookies, apple cider, and the belle of the ball, egg nog. Here's the recipe:
Incredibly Yummy Homemade Egg Nog
*Inspired by the Egg Nog recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook*
Makes about 10 small (4 oz) serving, or 5-6 larger servings.
6 beaten egg yolks (free range is best)
2 1/4 cups whole milk (raw, if available)
1/3 cup unrefined sugar, like Rapadura or Sucanat (I bet Coconut/Palm sugar would also work, though I haven't tried it)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream (avoid ultra-pasteurized)
2 Tbsp unrefined sugar, or 1 Tbsp honey, or a few drops or maybe 1/2 packet of Stevia (just enough to add a touch of sweetness)
(Note: You may want to begin the recipe the day before you want the egg nog- it's an easy recipe, but does need time to chill properly)
1) In a medium pot, mix the egg yolks, milk and the 1/3 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon (see photo). Remove from heat. Place pot in a sink or bowl of ice water and stir for 2 minutes to cool mixture off a little. Stir in vanilla. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.
2) When you're ready to serve:
Beat the whipping cream and 2 Tbsp of sugar (or sugar alternative) until soft peaks form.
3) Transfer the chilled egg/milk/sugar mixture to a punch bowl. Fold in the whipped cream. Serve immediately. Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. If you find it a little too thick or too sweet, simply stir in a bit of milk to thin it out.
You'll never want to go back to the store bought variety again, and with lots of nourishing ingredients like eggs and raw milk, egg nog can actually be a legitimate once-in-a-while treat! Wondering about the whole issue of too many fats? See why my family liberally eats of good, whole fat foods, and yes, even saturated fats.