Right about now I can sense the turkey population getting a little bit nervous. Yes folks, it’s time to start thinking about it, you know what it is, some of us love it and others could skip it all together….the holiday season! I think the one feature of this time of year that we can all agree upon is certainly the rich, delicious food. While food is usually the center of attention of many festive meals, the wine on the table should, in my opinion, garner equal billing rights. After all, you are pairing the two together and they would love to get along. If you think about it, many aspects of our everyday lives are about balance and the harmony of “give and take”, why not your holiday meal?
The holiday season is upon us once again and ‘oh’ what a familiar scene it is. Lots of colorful, jingly oversized Christmas sweaters, folks rushing frantically from store to store to buy gifts with money we don’t have, inhaling cakes and cookies at record speeds and some of you will compete with the next door neighbor to see who can decorate the front lawn with the brightest lights, the biggest plastic Santa’s, the most life-like nativity scenes and of course… the highest electric bill.
I would have to imagine that at some point over the years of celebrating the holidays that we have all managed to toss back a few frothy, creamy, rich glasses of eggnog. There are a plethora of different variations of this classic holiday beverage, it is staggering! You can enjoy your nog with or without alcohol. Eggnog can be produced from scratch or you can purchase it “ready-made” at the grocery store or liquor store. I have found recipes that call for fruit, wine, beer, sake, nuts, tofu, celery and even Roquefort cheese. I also found a recipe that required you to age the eggnog from 3 weeks up to a year…Yikes! Usually basic, nonalcoholic eggnog consists of eggs, milk/cream, sugar and a touch of spice, like nutmeg. Because the core ingredients are so simple you can add pretty much anything, within reason, to make your nog unique. If you choose to make homemade eggnog, you can prepare it cooked or uncooked. The uncooked versions usually feature raw eggs. For those of you who may be a little skittish about using raw eggs, you can use pasteurized eggs or heat the eggs slowly at 160F to avoid harmful bacteria. Or, you can use no eggs at all (substitute instant pudding mix), and call it
Colorful foliage, cool evenings and the perfect bottle of wine are just a few reasons why we love this season. One of the greatest things about living in Chattanooga is that we are not so far south that we miss the “change of seasons”. Being from New York I have a special fondness for the distinct transition of the climate four times a year. It always feels wonderful around this time to leave behind the hot, sticky days of summer and welcome the warm days and chilly nights of autumn. No matter what the weather brings or what season it may be, I’m always in the mood for my favorite beverage: wine.