Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggnog for Expats

Now that the reality of Christmas has set in, I find myself missing the arguments celebrations at my parents’ house. Aside from the fact that they constantly play Christmas music (the good stuff, not Kenny G), they always have the most amazing food, and 10am is not considered too early to have an eggnog and brandy. I can't even find eggnog here. I am perplexed, as I thought it was an equally British drink. The only place I’ve managed to obtain it so far is in ridiculously overpriced lattes.

When I wake up on Christmas morning at my parents’, my stocking is always filled and there are presents under the tree as if by magic. Okay, so I’m old enough to know it doesn’t work that way, but I love presents (I really love presents. Did I say how much I love them?). I probably have more faith in a guy who lives at the North Pole and delivers presents to the children of the world in a single night, than in a white kid named Jesus being born in the Middle East. I mean, come on! Jesus was obviously Latino. He worked as a carpenter, he lived with his parents until he was 31, and he honestly believed his mother was a virgin!*

In any case, I wish we could have gone home for the holidays. Since getting married, I’ve quite come to relish my role as adult child in the house. Particularly when it comes to helping out. My husband is an excellent helper of chores, and therefore makes me look good by association. I miss the flurry of preparation for the big day… well, almost.

Recent message from Dad: I’m sick. Your mother is mad that I’m sick. Can I come to London for Christmas?

My reply: Sure, if you want to sleep on my kitchen floor, and spend 3 days in the Heathrow Terminal trying to get home.

Not to be outdone, my mother popped up on my computer screen to offer her take on things.

Mom: Your dad is sick. So is the dog. Can you send Michael to help me out?

Me: Only if you pay for the ticket and realise he won’t arrive until after Christmas.

At this point I had both of them typing away to me from different computers, in different rooms of the house. I briefly entertained the thought of trying to pit them against each other (for my own amusement) when their attentions became focused elsewhere.

Mom: Your sister was trying to water the tree and it fell over. I think it’s time for my first eggnog of the day.

Dad: Oh Christ, the tree fell over. I have to go.

I liked to imagine they sprang to action, united in the cause to make the tree vertical once more. In reality, I’m told my brother did most of the work tying the tree to the wall with festive, green twine. But even if my family complains about the giant production that is Christmas, they’re still luckier than me. They have delicious eggnog** to get them through it all.

*I can’t take credit for that joke, though. My friend, Alonso told it to me years ago.

** If any of my astute readers know where I can buy eggnog here, please let me know. I have tried Waitrose and Tesco, and have come away empty-handed!


jenanne said...

try sainsbury's... they had it in scotland...

Meghan said...

Hey Cait,

Try making your is a recipe that is super easy and equally delicious!

•1 ½ oz (3 tbsp/45 ml) Gibson’s Finest Canadian Whisky (or any other whisky will work)
•1 oz (2 tbsp/30 ml) vanilla syrup*
•3 oz (6 tbsp/85 ml) cream
•1 egg white
•Nutmeg for garnish

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 ½ oz Gibson’s Finest, 1 oz vanilla syrup*, 3 oz cream and an egg white. Shake until frothy and strain into a cocktail glass. Dust with nutmeg.

*To make a simple vanilla syrup: Add equal parts sugar and boiling water to a heatproof vessel, stir to dissolve and then let cool. Add 2-3 drops of vanilla extract or ¼ vanilla bean. Stir to mix.

This is better than store bought any-day! Good luck!

Cait said...

Thanks guys! I will try both of these suggestions. Meghan, I'm glad to see your recipe does not call for a blender because we don't own one. It's on my list of things to buy when I become gainfully employed, though. ;)