Celebration Eggnog

Eggnog
‘Tis the season for celebration.  Here in Massachusetts, we are celebrating something special and rare in this country: a win for a nearly 300 year old farm and its supporters in a debate over raw milk regulation.

Last night, at a town hearing that drew over 300 people and filled the Ahern Middle School auditorium in Foxborough, the volunteers on the Foxborough Board of Health decided in a 2-1 vote to allow the state of Massachusetts to continue its monitoring of the Foxborough farm without any additional regulations by the town.

Countrywide, raw milk is a heated issue.  Supporters see raw milk as a health food that has helped solve many a health issue.  They see pasteurized milk as colored water at its best, and a toxic and damaging substance at its worst.

Those against raw milk cite bacteria levels as proof of its dangers, along with a myriad of government agencies that agree on the issue of bacteria levels.  Of course, these bacteria are exactly what the raw milk drinkers are after. Indeed, demand for raw milk is rising nationwide.

As it now stands, consumers in eastern Massachusetts have the freedom to choose raw milk and the Lawton family has the freedom to continue running their business under the state laws.  Those who do not wish to drink raw milk have other options, but what is important is choice for all of us.

To celebrate the win for freedom of choice, this morning I mixed up some fresh raw milk eggnog for my family.  Although the milk is indeed heated, it is not boiled or pasteurized so the good bacteria is still in tact.  Same goes for the egg yolks- raw is the best way to reap the nutritional benefits of eggs IF you know and trust your farmer and their practices. If you do not know/trust your farmer, you can heat the milk/yolk mixture a bit more.

This recipe can be dressed up with spices, spirits, or other flavors such as peppermint extract as desired.

Basic eggnog
2 cups raw local milk
4 egg yolks from pastured hens
1/4-1/3 cup pure maple syrup
a sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg, or more if you enjoy the taste
tiny pinch of salt

Warm milk on low heat in a small sauce pan.  Do not let boil.  If a layer of “skin” forms on the top, skim off and discard.  When warm, turn off the burner and add the four egg yolks.  Whisk until combined, then add the syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix.

Enjoy!

Update:  If you heat this after you put in the eggs in order to slightly “cook” the eggs to minimize risk, be very sure you’re whisking the mixture constantly while its heating.  If you do not, you risk getting something like lumpy scrambled eggs in milk.  This is why I recommend heating only before putting the egg yolks in, as they will then stay smooth and add only richness, not lumps.

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2 thoughts on “Celebration Eggnog

    • Milk is pasteurized when it reaches 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. This kills 99.9% of bacteria in the milk, beneficial bacteria included, according to Organic Valley. I do not suggest heating your raw milk to anything near that temperature, keeping somewhere around 100 – 115 degrees.

      In my house, I use the “pinky test” method, which while is not scientific it certainly ensures my milk does not get too hot. When milk is warming, put the tip of a clean pinky finger in the milk. The milk should be warm, but too warm to leave your pinky in. If you can let your finger sit in the milk, it’s probably not warm enough for my taste.

      Heating milk in this recipe is only so that you have a warm drink, it is not to serve any other purpose. So you can heat this to your desired temperature for consumption. If you’d like cold eggnog, simply mix all the ingredients and enjoy!

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