A Winter Milkshake
As temperatures plunge and the air becomes crisp, the creamy, rich nutmeg-infused flavour of eggnog screams Party! Holidays! Festive!
Don’t let the mention of eggs and the less-than-appetizing name put you off . This isn’t a drinkable form of scrambled egg, but rather a luscious, creamy winter milkshake. Basic ingredients include milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and nutmeg, but you can spice it up any way you like. Add a little cinnamon. Add some vanilla. Add a little alcohol — or a lot.
Eggnog is thought to have its origins in medieval England, starting out as a mixture of milk and ale. Later, its innovators added eggs. It all added up to a holiday concoction for the wealthy as eggs and milk were hard to come by. But, by the time the recipe found its way to the North American colonies, which had a vast supply of land on which to raise chickens and cows and a steady stream of rum from the Caribbean, eggnog had become a drink for the masses.
And no Christmas should pass by without drinking masses of it. At Limestone Creamery just outside Kingston, lifelong dairy farmers Francis and Kathie Groenewegen and their children Patrick, 27, and Olivia, 25, make eggnog from milk produced by their 30 Jersey and Holstein cows on their 600-acre certifi ed organic family farm.
“We start in mid-November,” says Kathie, “and we’ll go right through to New Year’s Eve. We sell thousands of bottles, to our 375 home-delivery customers and through 25 independent stores. We try to keep it special for Christmas. It’s a really well-established Canadian tradition and people love it.” In Ottawa, Limestone Creamery eggnog will be available at Herb & Spice on Wellington St. and Ottawa Organics and Natural Foods. Limestone Creamery ’nog is made from 3.8 per cent full fat milk from cows that are 94-per-cent grass fed, their feed supplemented in the winter months with peas, corn and wheat grown mostly on the family farm.
The Groenewegen cows live a good life. For the farm to maintain its status as certifi ed organic, the animals must be permitted to wander about outside and socialize daily. Th is lifestyle, combined with their healthy diet and the fact that the on-site dairy means the milk does not have to travel for processing, ensures that their fresh, healthy milk makes great eggnog.
“Just keep it in a good, cold fridge,” Kathie advises, “and, a lot of people add rum,” for a little alcoholic lift for a party. But “it’s best drunk straight out of the bottle,” says Kathie.
It’s true. It’s that good.
Limestone Organic Creamery
3127 Sydenham Rd., Elginburg, ON