As the mother of a toddler, milk is essential, both as a drink, and an ingredient in my household, most especially during naptime and bedtime routines. I have two 4-litre jugs of whole milk in my fridge at all times because we use it every day in coffee, in cereal, and, in cooking and baking.
The holidays are almost here, and now that Elodie is older, it’s time to start new traditions in our house. Because Canadian Quality Milk is delicious, refreshing, and a tried-and-true staple in our home, it made perfect sense that I would incorporate milk in a new holiday recipe for Elodie to enjoy this year, and every year from now on.
Last Christmas, Elodie was only six months old.
This year, Elodie is 18 months old. She can walk. She can talk. She loves to point and laugh at the lights and sparkly ornaments on our Christmas tree.
This year will be the first time I’m leaving milk and cookies out for Santa since I was a little girl.
AND I AM SO EXCITED.
This adorable video on the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s YouTube channel, featuring some seriously incredible felt animation, totally captures that sense of excitement I’m feeling. Because everyone’s a kid at Christmas time.
For me, Christmas is an opportunity to create memories for Elodie that she can hold dear for the rest of her life. So I’ve been brainstorming. I mean, of course, leaving out milk and cookies for Santa is HUGE right?
But what else?
One of my favourite holiday memories is from the year I went caroling with a group of neighbours, door to door, through our neighbourhood in Dartmouth. We met at one the nearby houses, and someone handed out sheets of music. We began to walk, as a group, and then we began to sing. I remember stopping in front of a beautiful historic home, decked out for Christmas, and, as a group, we started to sing ‘O Holy Night’. The family who lived in the house came to the door, and there was a small girl, maybe five or six years old, with curly red hair wearing a long flannel nightgown. I will never forget the look, or the light, shining from her face as she watched this group of thirty strangers gathered on the walkway of her home singing to her, harmonies floating into the cold, dark December air.
After caroling, we gathered at a neighbour’s house for snacks and drinks. One of the neighbours had brought a ceramic crock of homemade eggnog and to this day I believe it to be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. The eggnog was milky, and sweet, and delicious, but it wasn’t just about the eggnog. It was about the entire experience. Walking the streets of my hometown, houses glowing with Christmas lights, singing beautiful holiday music, and feeling a part of something bigger than myself.
THAT’S why the eggnog tasted so good.
I want Elodie to have memories like that.
My caroling memory inspired a new tradition in our family this Christmas. I experimented a few times with a homemade, kid-friendly eggnog recipe, using whole white milk, and maple syrup and honey in place of white sugar.
I made my own sweet milky eggnog for Elodie and she loved it.
On Christmas Eve, we’ll leave some of Elodie’s Eggnog out for Santa along with a glass of cold white milk, and some homemade cookies.
I hope he loves it as much as we do.
And the best part? With Canadian Quality Milk, I know I'll get it all done - I can make the eggnog, bake the cookies, and leave glasses of cold white milk out for Santa and his reindeer - just in the nick of time.
Nick of time.
4 cups whole white milk
6 egg yolks
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp whole cloves (optional)
3 cinnamon sticks (optional)
1. In a medium pot, heat milk and honey over medium-low heat until steaming.
2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and maple syrup until smooth. Scoop about ¼ cup of hot milk into a small measuring cup. Whisking constantly, gently dribble ¼ cup hot milk into egg yolk mixture until milk is gone.
3. Pour yolk mixture back into the pot of hot milk. Simmer gently over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Through a fine mesh sieve, pour eggnog mixture into a bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Eggnog will thicken the longer it sits. Serve cold.
Optional - At the beginning, place 1 tbsp whole cloves and 3 cinnamon sticks into the pot with the milk and honey and allow to simmer with eggnog. Strain cloves and cinnamon out at the end.
Disclosure : This post is sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada and I have received financial compensation. All views and opinions are my own, and, I will never endorse anything that I don’t use or love.