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It's time... [Nov. 21st, 2006|12:39 pm]
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...for the 2006 egg nog redux.


What, did you actually think I was going to talk about something *serious*?

Wait, egg nog *is* serious to me!

Most grocery stores leave me in quite the predicament - there's no dearth of choice as far as brands go, but the real issue is obviously the *quality* of the product... and more often than not the offering works less than ideally as a drinkable beverage and might find better purpose as cake frosting. You can literally feel this stuff clogging your arteries and rotting your teeth as it goes down your throat (when it can actually be swallowed). The typical too-unctuous, sickly-sweet, corn syrup rich and nutmeg poor product that lines the shelves of supermarkets during the holiday season leaves me woefully nostalgic of childhood holidays spent guzzling Sealtest's perfect recipe. But with my youth - and Sealtest - now only a distant memory, what is an egg nog lover to do in a world where commercial recipes change from year to year and aren't even that good to begin with?

For a while, living in central/upstate NY, I happened upon a decent brand or two. I finally settled on the bottled Byrne Dairy brand, which came close to the taste I was looking for but insisted on that unbearably thick texture so many brands cling to as authentic.

Moving to Boston was a continued disappointment - until Silk began producing soy egg nog that tastes more authentic than anything the local dairies seem able to come up with. It's been a faithful fallback ever since, and my father - averse to dairy in general - can't thank that company enough for producing a nog-like beverage he can drink without remorse.

But until this season's discovery, this boy was left with no real alternatives. If you can settle on a store brand of egg nog... I'm sorry. This entry is not for you, and you might as well stop reading.

Garelick's concoction is patently undrinkable, and doesn't even merit the egg nog appellation. Afficionados would find cheaper - and more egg nog like - taste and texture in purchasing a tub of Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines baker's topping. Or downing a bottle of Milk of Magnesia.

Hood, the other big local dairy (based right here in Chelsea, as a matter of fact) doesn't offer up much more of a valiant effort. I'm more interested in their Pumpkin and Cinnamon flavored egg nog beverages (though this takes us pretty much out of the realm of egg nog, again, if you can imagine drinking a milkshake frappe made with apple pie and vanilla ice cream).

...and can someone tell me what the heck is up with "Golden" egg nog? Folks, there's already enough corn syrup and vanilla flavoring to drown a small child without even adding the dairy to your regular egg nog, never mind adding more. Give it a rest - it's gross. Ever tried drinking flan or crème brûlée off your dessert plate? Exactly. Oh, and don't bother making "light" egg nog. People who buy "light" don't buy egg nog. Much like people who go to McDonald's don't go there to buy protein bars.

Some contenders for my favor, last year, included Southern Comfort's own brand of egg nog and some local Pennsylvania brand that mistakenly wandered out of state and found its way to my local Stop & Shop. But this year's trial of Southern Comfort was almost as disappointing as the local dairy's brands and, let's be honest, even if by some fluke the Pennsylvania brand had appeared in the store again this season, I would still be looking for that perfect taste.

There's always the Starbuck's egg nog steamer that helps out in a pinch, and some local dairy bars even mix up some egg nog ice cream for the holidays (it *is* a simliar custard base to begin with, after all). But where to find that maddening good mix of taste and aroma?

I'll cede that people's tastes vary, but c'mon - if I wanted to drink melted ice cream, I'd do just that: melt some ice cream. So although my interest was piqued by Horizon's and Organic Valley's products on a recent trip to Whole Foods Paycheck last week, continuing my quest, based on my egg nog preferences and the reviews here I would have struck out again (note the "melted ice cream" depiction for their top contender).

Well... at $3.25 a quart at Whole Foods (it comes in a one-size-only glass bottle, right from a dairy company that still delivers), it's no commodity treat... but it's like they stole a renegade Sealtest employee from way back and managed to make him share the recipe: with a consistency just the creamy side of whole milk, and enough nutmeg taste to make me spin in circles, Crescent Ridge egg nog is only just sweet enough, and sends me hurtling back in time to those dreamy moments when my father would finally say... "time to put up the Christmas tree!"
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jdhorner
2006-11-21 06:34 pm (UTC)

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eww eggnog.
just pass the liquor and i'm all set.

or

the hot chocolate.
[User Picture]From: xrsblu
2006-11-21 06:36 pm (UTC)

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mmmmm liquor and hot chocolate. yummmm.


:-P
[User Picture]From: expres
2006-11-21 09:30 pm (UTC)

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hot chocolate made instead of with either milk or water...use Bailey's
one of my friends from england suggested it and I got hooked.
[User Picture]From: tims300
2006-11-21 07:05 pm (UTC)

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i'm with you on this one...

oh - have you tried drinking chocolate? (http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/CategoryDisplay?cgmenbr=122797&cgrfnbr=132272)

i just got the extreme dark... o m g. it's just slightly sweet, with the full buttery chocolate bitterness coming through. i believe it's the most decadent thing i have ever sipped.
[User Picture]From: jdhorner
2006-11-21 07:08 pm (UTC)

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oh my god.
i haven't, but now i'll dream of it.
wow. that looks awesome. LOL.

///

MATT also, as an aside: i'm not being bah humbug re: eggnog, just not a fan. :) and HOLY COW HOLIDAY SEASON. so excited. :)
[User Picture]From: flagster
2006-11-21 07:26 pm (UTC)

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Not a fan of egg nog? ROFL... I couldn't tell :oP

You leave me the bah humbug stuff, I'll take care of it!
[User Picture]From: jayessence
2006-12-01 02:56 am (UTC)

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I'm a fan of egg nog. Can I try your nog?
[User Picture]From: flagster
2006-12-01 03:24 pm (UTC)

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LOL... you can try my nog, all right... you might have to come to Boston to taste it, though!
[User Picture]From: flagster
2006-11-21 07:17 pm (UTC)

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Egg nog is definitely not everyone's "cup of tea" so-to-speak... I won't try to talk you into it - there are few things I won't eat, but the things I won't - like olives, for example, even though I'm fine with olive oil - I have such vehement distaste for that no amount of "talking into" will change my mind. Based on that I try never to talk people into things they already know they don't like. It's unproductive and a waste of energy :o)

But have you tried Burdick's hot chocolate, in Harvard Square?
From: (Anonymous)
2006-11-21 11:33 pm (UTC)

Nog and chocolate

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I remember well your obsession with the Nog.

And I can make Burdick's hot chocolate. I am a trained professional.

Sigh. Too bad I'm thousands of miles away.

Anne of goannego.blogspot.com
[User Picture]From: flagster
2006-11-21 11:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Nog and chocolate

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And I miss you, Anne girl!
[User Picture]From: tims300
2006-11-21 07:57 pm (UTC)

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i do appreciate your search for the best stuff available, even though i don't really care for eggnog. although, i might actually like the one you mention... but then again, i don't really care for milky drinks.

annnd... the drinking chocolate i mentioned above is on par with, if not maybe a little better, because it's less sweet, than burdicks.
[User Picture]From: expres
2006-11-21 09:27 pm (UTC)

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or you could try making it from scratch.
iirc I sent you a recipe last year.
From: nonumnos
2006-11-22 05:58 pm (UTC)

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I was about to go on a search for recipes to send him as well, but then I realized that he just doesn't have the time to make anything from scratch these days! I mean, just the other day, xrsblu was asking other people to make him a pie! The mind boggles!
[User Picture]From: gray_fluid
2006-11-29 10:19 pm (UTC)

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where is kim english's arm?
[User Picture]From: gray_fluid
2006-11-29 10:23 pm (UTC)

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"...child, you know you're going to hell, right?"