“The hens only lay egg-nog at Christmas-tidek but egg-nog will lay a man any time he tackles it,” reported the Idaho Avalanche on January 3, 1880. In 1881, The Herald, in Omaha, Nebraska, also found eggnog a subject for humor: “Hens favor sobriety. They generally quit laying when the egg-nog season approaches.”
Big thanks to a decades-old issue of True West magazine for this December-timely article, penned by Sherry Monahan.
Out on the frontier, eggnog was not just a holiday beverage, but also a saloon drink year-round. In 1881, eggnog was ranked as the eighth most popular saloon beverage and it was served hot or cold. Here is the recipe for Victorian eggnog, adapted from the Idaho Daily Statesman, 12 Dec 1892:
3 eggs, separated
1 cup powdered sugar 1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TB powdered sugar for egg whites 1/4 cup brandy and rum
1 cinnamon stick for grating
Beat the egg yolks and sugar; set aside. Beat egg whites with 1 TB sugar until stiff and refrigerate. Heat cream and nutmeg to just a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and gradually add hot cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Return everything to the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 160oF. Remove from heat, place in bowl, set in ‘fridge to chill. Fold the egg whites into the mixture when serving and served with grated cinnamon and nutmeg. Serves 2
Too much work for me! I’ll just go to Safeway or Rosauer’s thank you very much. Bet you will too.