Photo courtesy of annosvixit
I know this is kind of insane, but I actually avoided using whole nutmeg because I thought you had to have a little, teeny grater to use it. I guess I knew you didn't have to have one, but I didn't bother to look for any alternatives that already existed in our home and kept using pre-ground nutmeg.
One day, I was making eggnog. I like to make eggnog to round out a lunch that I haven't made enough of an effort on. It is quick, healthy, a kid-favourite and guilt-banishing. Anyway, we were out of nutmeg. I remembered that my Mother-in-law had given me a couple of whole nutmegs (nutmeg cloves? nutmeg seeds? nutmeg pods?) several years ago. I hauled them out and thought about how I could grate them. Well...the grater, of course! I have one of those four sided cheese graters and I really only use one side. The side with the small bumps worked very nicely and the nutmeg was delicious in our eggnog. I knew I would never be buying ground nutmeg again!
The next time I made eggnog, I realized that my stainless steel rasp (which I use to grate lemon zest and other things) would probably do a great job on the nutmeg. I gave it a try and it was even better than the cheese grater!
If you aren't using whole nutmeg, I really encourage you to try using it. It made a huge difference in the flavour of our food and really wasn't very expensive at all (seeing as nutmeg does not take up much of our food budget)!
Oh, here is our eggnog recipe, in case you spend too much time reading blogs today and need to add something to your lunch of cheese, crackers and cucumber slices:
(We have a Vita-Mix, which holds 8 cups and this recipe fills it pretty well after 'fluffing'. Adjust quantities if your blender is smaller.)
Place in a large blender:
- 3 farm-fresh eggs
- 1/3 c. sucanat or unrefined sugar (okay...or just regular sugar!)
- a splash of vanilla extract
- some freshly grated nutmeg
Then, add milk to about the 5 1/2 c. level and blend slowly until well-combined. If you zing it around on high, you will regret it as it will make a lot of foam which will fall out of the top when you open the lid. You can grate a little extra nutmeg on the top of each glass if you like. Mmmmm! I almost want to go make some right now!