Merry Christmas from the Czech Republic! Or rather, Veselé Vánoce!
We celebrate it all on the 24th over here, so my 25th is reserved for my 'American' Christmas...mainly a skype date with my family in Wisconsin for their Christmas morning, and then an evening spent with another expat.
Yesterday, however, I witnessed one of my finest Czech Christmas days yet with a Canadian-Czech couple and their family. Of course, my friend and I had to toss in our heritage a bit. For this spirited Canadian, that means eggnog. I remember her 'nog well from years ago, my first holiday season in Brno. This year, I finally got to catch some of the action (and the recipe!)
Fresh eggs are a must. As is the cream. The booze gets a bit of wiggle room. Rum, whisky, or a bit of both. And freshly grated nutmeg on top..mmmm...
Careful on the mixing. It is a drink, i.e. liquid. And it can, and will, fly everywhere if not careful! Use a combination of electric mixer for the eggs, and hand whisk for the rest.
Czech Christmas usually starts with decorating the tree in the morning, and preparing the food for later. A light meat-free soup (often lentils for luck and prosperity) can be had for lunch, that is, IF you don't want to see the golden pig. There are many, many Czech Christmas traditions associated with one's future. A widespread one is to fast all Christmas day until dinner so that one sees a golden pig. I think this hallucination should bring money next year.
After the soup, we warmed up with the eggnog before heading out for an afternoon walk through a gorgeous woods that had the exact amount of snow sprinkled about to make it wet enough for the dogs to get good and muddy.
Permission to roll in the mud turns out to be exactly what my Saffi wanted for Christmas!
After the walk, we arrived back home for some mulled wine and Christmas dinner of salmon and potato salad. It did take me awhile to get used to the Czech holiday dish of fish (traditional is fried carp, but most families seem to be substituting salmon these days), but I now find myself looking forward to it.
The potato salad is one which I adore. Not at all cloying and sweet like some American ones I've had, but light and tangy with the addition of pickles. With the fish, sensational!
As soon as everyone had savoured the last bite, a bell is rung to signify the arrival of Ježíšek (baby Jesus) who has just brought the presents under the tree. Gift opening, laughing, and more eating closes out the rest of a very special evening.
More holiday libations:
Continue to Recipe...
Note: Everything should be straight from the fridge, and NOT room temperature.
You will need two large mixing bowls, electric mixer and a whisk.
4 eggs - yolks and whites separated
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup full fat milk
1 cup spiced rum (or white rum, or whisky, or half-n-half rum/whisky)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1) In one bowl,use the electric mixer to mix the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar.
2) In another bowl, mix the egg whites until peaks form, and slowly mix in the rest of the sugar.
3) Slowly mix the yolk mix into the egg whites. Mix on low until creamy.
4) Switching to the whisk, stir in the milk and rum.
5) In the empty bowl, add the cream and mix on med-high until whipped and stiffened. Fold into eggnog.
6) Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.
7) Refrigerate until just ready to serve. Ladle into glasses and sprinkle nutmeg over top.
Dobrou Chut' / Enjoy.