January 31, 2012

back with a punch

i really never intended for this much time to go by without writing, but alas, its been almost two years. i can hardly believe how fast the time goes by. ive thought about writing on several occasions, but just never quite got around to it. if you are reading this, chances are you know while i may not have cooked as much food as id have liked in the last year, or wrote about it when i did, i did bake up an exquisitely delectable little baby who smells sweeter than any treat that has ever come out of my kitchen. and quite naturally, he has garnered nearly all of my attention, both prior to and since his exciting arrival. i certainly have not stopped eating, or talking and obsessing about eating, but i guess this is just how these things sometimes go. we're pretty settled in now, and while i still sometimes feel like i barely even have time to get simple tasks like brushing my teeth done during the day, i feel relatively confident that i will be able to keep up with this project at least semi-regularly now.

so i return with a beverage recipe. i must stress however, this is not just any beverage, but one of the most perfectly delicious things, food or drink, ive consumed in some time. i wish i could take credit for the brilliant idea, but will happily settle for simply sitting there with my lips pursed on the edge of my glass. the drink is milk punch, which apparently is popular in the south, particularly new orleans. leave it to this great city to produce one more spectacular thing. while several recipes are out there, with some amount of slight variation, i settled on the one at smittenkitchen.com, (with my own adaptation) mainly because rather than being over ice, it was slushy. who could resist?

let me start by saying i have never considered myself much of a dairy/alcohol combination kind of girl. milk punch is an exception. when i first came across this recipe i thought of it definitely as a special occasion kind of drink, so i waited...and waited...and finally made it for our christmas eve get-together. after running out of the batch i made much more quickly than i had hoped, i can now deem just about anything a special occasion in order to justify keeping a pitcher of this intoxicating slush in my freezer. what? the diapers need washed again? better get a bottle of whiskey and some heavy cream.

although it is a cold drink, i think of it more as a wintry drink. for starters i dont usually crave milky things on hot summer days. and maybe it is that exact milkiness that gives me the nostalgia of a cold snowy day that i so rarely enjoy here in the northwest. and i suppose there is the fact that the drink is reminiscent of a glass of eggnog, albeit a cleaner, crisper version.

milk punch is a classy drink, a classy drink that inspires decidedly unclassy behavior. remember when you were 8 years old and your mom would let you lick the beaters from the brownies she was making? when i finish my drink, with all the gusto of my 8 year old self licking my gooey brownie-battered beater, i find myself spotlessly cleaning the inside of my glass with my index finger and then promptly putting it in my mouth to lick off the last frothy remains.

milk punch


5 cups of a mixture of milk and heavy cream (ratio 3:2ish)
1 1/2 cups bourbon (or brandy)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tbls vanilla
freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

whisk all ingredients together in a pitcher and freeze until slushy (about 4 hrs). remove from freezer, stir, pour into glasses and garnish with nutmeg.

note: the original recipe calls for half-n-half instead of the heavy cream...ill always opt for the heavy cream. also, if you have never used freshly grated nutmeg- do it!

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