(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, #96, Dec. 2008)

December = Eggnog month - yay! I suppose I could drink it all year, but then it wouldn't be special and I would be especially rotund, so I save it for the twelfth month.

The eggs remain uncooked in this recipe so if that bothers you, either use pasteurized or wash the outside of the eggs with soap and water or that antibacterial stuff. A farmer friend told me that salmonella lives on the egg, not in, and they contaminate food when cracked into the bowl. So disinfect the outside if you wish and get started:

3 large eggs (separated)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup of dark rum
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp brandy
2 cups of milk
1 cup of  half n' half
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until they just begin to turn a lighter shade of yellow. Add sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk until think and pale yellow. Whisk in rum, bourbon and brandy and then whisk in the milk, half n' half, nutmeg and vanilla. Chill covered for 4 hrs or overnight. Keep the egg whites in a separate bowl.

Before serving whip the whites to stiff peaks. Fold into the yolk mixture. Whisk a bit before serving every time.

Taste to check the balance of everything. I like to celebrate the flavours of the booze - not hide them, so if the nog doesn't have a bite to it I start adding... starting with the bourbon...


Leek & Mustard Quiche
(from Deborah Madison's Greens Cookbook)

Leeks (1lb trimmed, about 3 good-sized leeks)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup cream (or creme fraiche)
2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 oz grated cheese (mix up gruyere, blue, goat, or whatever you have)
2 tbsp chives, optional

Prepare a tart dough in a food processor with: 1 cup of flour, 6 tbsp cold butter, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cup ice cold water, as needed. Pulse until a ball has formed. It will be sticky but that will sort itself out as you roll it out with flour. Lay in a quiche dish, poke with fork holes, and bake at 400* for 8 minutes covered with foil weighted down with dry beans or something to prevent bubbling up, and then bake another few minutes without the foil.

Meanwhile, chop leeks (white and light green parts; discard tough dark green bits, or keep for a future soup stock) and place them in the sink with water to wash. Melt butter in a wide skillet, add the leeks with the water that still clings to them, and cook for a few minutes.

Add wine and salt, cover, reduce heat and cook until leeks are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with black pepper (unless you are Gill Pitts).

Beat the eggs and stir in the cream, mustard, leeks and cheeses. Pour this custard into the tart shell, scatter chives over the top if you have any, and bake at 375* until set and golden (start checking it after 35 minutes).

Serve with a green salad. Bon Appetit!

(Even the leek and/or mustard haters at your table will probably like this. Just make up another name for it!)