Here at Dogwood Hill, we love tradition, that is part of what makes us Southern. New designer, Erin Hollon, shares memories of making Mama Mac’s prized egg nog recipe that her family still treasures today.

Every family has their own Holiday Traditions, but as kids we don’t realize that our traditions aren’t necessarily shared by every other family.

It wasn’t until I grew up and started hosting parties around the holidays that I realized some of my yearly recipes were just downright odd to other people. And theirs were odd to me!

Spiced Egg Nog, the runny kind you find in the dairy aisle, was a total mystery to me. Growing up we had our own Egg Nog recipe, passed down from generation to generation. Rather than spices, we added sherry and bourbon to our thick and creamy concoction. As the child of parents who never drank the rest of the year, this was a treat of nearly magical proportions!

I remember the anticipation as my grandmother started whipping cream in the kitchen and the giggles as my aunts and uncles added more sherry to their glasses.

Once my grandmother passed, the Egg Nog responsibility was transferred to my mom. She often let us help, reminding us to be careful whipping the cream because it could easily turn to butter. One time it did, making us feel very guilty and nervous until we discovered it was the best butter we’d ever tasted!

The addition of the gelatin is also a little harrowing, as any wrong step can leave you with tiny hard lumps in the finished product.

The older I grew the more I realized this holiday treat is really a labor of love, as so many traditions are. And now I get to make it myself and share this love with all my New York friends. They look at me like I’m crazy when I describe it, but once they taste it, they are instant fans. And we still giggle as we add an extra tipple on the sly!

Here is the family recipe, in case you’d like to give it a try this holiday season. It goes perfectly with New Year’s Celebrations too!

Mama Mac’s Egg Nog
6 eggs separated
2 cups sugar plus 6 TBSP
1/2 cup dry sherry
5 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 packages plain gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup heated milk
2 very large bowls and one small bowl
Note: Rinse beaters between each step.
1. Place gelatin in water and then add heated milk. Allow mixture to cool while beating egg whites. Add about 6 Tbsp sugar to the egg whites while beating them. Placed egg
whites in the refrigerator. Beat egg yolks. Add the remaining sugar and the sherry slowly to the egg yolks. Add the gelatin mixture.
2. Whip cream in another bowl. Add vanilla. Add whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the egg whites.
3. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until mixture is set. Fluff with a wire whisk and serve. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 quarts.
(Addition of bourbon to the egg yolk mixture before adding the gelatin is an option)

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