Day 12: Family history discoveries and my eggnog recipe.

Note: I finally got some photos to upload to WordPress, but for some reason I still can’t insert them in a post, so, since it’s now after 1 am, I am going for text only . . . again. I’m sorry about that as I know how much more interesting a post is when there are pictures to enjoy as well.

Today I got a late start followed by an unexpected trip to town. Lucky for me I stayed up late last night and had everything I needed in order. Cousin M is not a planning sort of person and I have lived with others for so long that I automatically plan my things around theirs. It’s easy for me and I like it, so that usually works best. It’s a good thing that we share the same heritage; I understand him and he understands me, so generally things go quite well as a result. And then the post office had a long lineup and my purchase took time, too, so I was in the drug store for over an hour. In the end, I made a mad dash into the grocery store for two bags of cranberries (I’ll tell you about that tomorrow) and then went back to the truck and we made it home before dark.

I didn’t get any knitting done today, which is too bad, but by the time I phoned a dear friend in Victoria and had supper, I wasn’t up for knitting. I did manage to drop in on a few folks’ blogs and catch up a bit more.  And I checked email briefly, then facebook for messages. And on fb I had a wonderful message waiting for me.

I was looking for information on my mother’s parents and grandparents a few days ago. The man who contacted me is a lecturer (professor?) in Norway. He has a group on fb about the island of Leka, very near to Trondheim, where we always thought my great-grandparents and my Mum’s mother had come from. Well, this professor has made a project out of tracking down the descendants of people who emigrated from Leka to the Americas. He had information that I was able to check out with my Auntie tonight and it’s all correct.

Apparently, when people emigrated at the beginning of the 1900s, it was generally via Trondheim, so that was the name that showed on the immigration papers.

I did check this man out and he has fb posts going back to when he was in high school; he’s now in his early 40s, I figure. So I’m pretty sure he’s legit.

One of the exciting things for me was learning the names of my great-great-uncles, two of whom stayed in North Dakota when the others came to Canada and the names of my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother.

An interesting fact to me was that they lived on one of the Western Isles of that area, I lived for over thirty years in what I think of as our Western Isles and the band whose work I love best also hails from the Western Isles, this time of Scotland. Possibly co-incidence, I know, but still . . . I can be quite practical about some things, but I am also quite fanciful about others. This is one of the latter. I don’t much care if it’s a true connection or not; it makes my heart sing.

I first lived on an island when I was a toddler and my Dad and his brother, my cousin M’s father, worked in the open pit mine on Texada Island, near Powell River, BC. We left a couple of years later, so I don’t remember much from that time, but I believe that’s where my love of the sea and islands comes from.

My own recipe for eggnog:

Do read this through in advance. Amounts aren’t really too critical as you will want to adjust to suit the size of your serving bowl and the number of people who will be partaking.

After supper sometime, separate 1 dozen eggs, reserving the whites in the fridge for the next day and putting the yolks in a large bowl. [I used to use my big glass punch bowl, but I didn’t have a fridge, so I didn’t have to worry about space. Our mudroom was always cold enough to serve as a refrigeration area, so I simply covered the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in the mudroom for overnight.]

Using a whisk, beat a cup of icing sugar into the yolks, then add a half cup (4 oz) of rum and 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg; fresh is fantastic, but if you don’t have it, use pre-grated. I prefer dark, but use what you like. This ‘cooks’ the yolks so that they lose that raw egg flavour. I think brandy would work well, too, but I don’t think I ever tried it. Put the bowl into the fridge overnight or until the next evening.

Stirring gently with the whisk, add a can of evaporated milk to give it a richer,fuller flavor. I always used Pacific, as that’s what I grew up on, but I’m sure any brand would work. Next add 2 quarts (litres) of whole milk. At this point, I like to let the mixture sit another 24 hours to ripen the flavour.

Depending on the amount you want, you may add another two litres of whole milk at this point. Or wait until just before you are ready to serve. (see below)

The day you are going to serve the eggnog, whip a pint of whipping cream until it makes soft peaks. Fold in gently. Last, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt. 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar can help it to form peaks well, but is not necessary. Fold the egg whites into the mixture as well. Taste the ‘nog to see if it needs any tweaking. I used to make a punch bowl full when we had company coming, so would add more whole milk and often more whipping cream, whipped, of course, as well.

At this point the eggnog is ready to serve. If the drink is only for adults, it’s possible to add more rum to the bowl. Otherwise, you may want to have the bottle handy for guests to use themselves. We rarely drank and our friends were the same, so this once a year indulgence was never a problem for anyone. I have known serious drinkers, though, and if they had come to our house, the rum would have been hidden safely away. 🙂

I like to keep the nutmeg and grater (or bottle of pre-grated) handy to add to each glass as it’s served up.

If you do try this, I’d love to hear what you think.

Music for today: Hymn to Nations, set to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ and sung by the great Paul Robeson. I apologize for the quality of the recording; it was released in 1953. I couldn’t find a better recording. still I love the words to this song (and the music); I first learned this when I belonged to the school choir in Chase, BC, in grade five. I have never forgotten it and I think we need to hear it often during the challenges of these times.

May your day be filled with Light and Love.  ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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