Holiday Cocktail of the Week.......Xmas In the Gallery.......New Year's Eve Menu......


Cocktail of the Week

Barndiva Holiday Nog with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Foam

The recipe for the elegant and light(ish) Egg Nog we will serve in the Barn this Christmas Eve comes to us courtesy of our new star behind the bar, Rachel Beardsley. Actually, it comes thanks to a desire on Rachel's part to continually up her game at Holiday time so her Japanese grandmother Masuyo ~ not a big fan of heavy cream and alcohol ~ can enjoy one of the richest traditions on offer this time of year.  Masuyo's not alone in craving the wonderful flavors of yule time without the cloying, hangover-in-the making qualities that too often come along with them.

All the usual suspects are here: spiced rum, full cream (cut with milk), nutmeg, vanilla and eggs. By reducing the amount of cream and using only the finest ingredients, in this case Madagascar Vanilla and whole Jamaican nutmeg, Rachel's small but significant swaps result in a wonderful Holiday concoction.  Crucial to the drink's success is using organic free range eggs in the Nog, then hand frothing the egg whites for a foam that is light but creamy. (Blenders tend to flatten and compress the ingredients.) With this Nog, less is deliciously more, a refinement you don't have to be a Japanese grandma to applaud.

Mix the ingredients together in a shaker or blender and chill.  Just before serving, add the vanilla to the egg white and whip until you produce a cloud-like frothy foam. We use a spiral whip in a glass shaker which is more a pogo move, easier on the wrist.  Pour the chilled Nog into a pretty glass, spoon on the vanilla foam, grate the nutmeg. You can make this Nog in batches but don't foam more than two egg whites at a time.  (Save the yolks for Christmas cakes or stuffing.)

Rachel will be whipping up her Holiday Nog behind the Bar on Christmas Eve ~ consider this an invitation to come by the Barn for a tipple, whatever your plans are for the night!  It's a real treat.

Recipe for Rachel’s Holiday Nog with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Foam

1 oz brandy (Korbel) 1 oz spiced rum (Sailor Jerry) 3 oz whole milk 2 oz half & half 1 whole organic egg 1 1/2 oz simple syrup

Vanilla foam: 1 egg white Scant 1/4 oz Madagascar bourbon vanilla (most vanilla comes from the same varietal ~V. planifolia ~ from Madagascar and the West Indies, but quality varies. As with any spice, invest in the best you can find.)

Grate a light sprinkling of nutmeg over the drink

In the Gallery

There are a lot of knives in the world ~ and almost as many opinions as to what constitutes a great one. Weight and balance, type of steel, heat forged or stamped ~ they’re all critical components. But for us, in deciding what to sell in the Studio, where the knife is made and by whom is the deal breaker.  We are not mindless fanatics that just because something is old it’s good, but with certain objects ~ textiles and knives especially ~ traditional fabrication techniques carry the fingerprint of history, traces of who we once were and what we knew, which we would be wise not to lose.

Berti knives have been made by the same Italian family since 1865. While they have kept up with the times by continually refining their sinuous ergonomic designs, they have done so while adhering to a founding principal that reverently guides how each knife is made: every Berti knife is signed by the single artisan that handles it from start to finish. Perfectly balanced Valdichiana steak knives and carving sets have honed Ox handles; all Berti knives are made from the finest high carbon steel which come with a lifetime guarantee that includes repair and sharpening ~ at no cost ~  in the workshop in Firenze.

The first Laguiole knives date back to the early 1800’s ~ named for the area in Southern France where they were made. Because the name and the ubiquitous insect on the mount (most think of as a bee ~ but could very well be a horse fly) could not be copyrighted, knives trading on the Laguiole history are now made without the same regard to craftsmanship all over the world (mostly in China and Taiwan). Of the original 18 villages around Thiers, only one village collective ~ in Aubrac ~ still follows the original fabrication techniques which made these knives and wine keys remarkable. There are 109 production steps to make a single Aubrac Laguiole steak knife, over 200 for the three piece folding knives and wine keys.

Every year we are lucky to get a few mixed wood dinner knife sets (each handle is kiln dried for its specific wood species). We also carry a limited number of  harlequin pocket knives and horn handled wine keys.

A Very Special Menu For New Year's Eve

We will accommodate à la carte reservations until 7:30, with  the official party beginning at 8:30 (give or take a few glasses of bubbly).

New to the Barndiva Family

There was a very good reason we did not publish Eat the View last week as K2,  crucial to uploading all the images and pictures for the blog  (in addition to creating many of Barndiva's stunning graphics) was rather busy plating her own Dish of the Week... one she's been cooking up for  the last nine months.  Meet Atticus Gordon Petrie,  the newest member of our ever expanding, extremely beautiful Barndiva family. Well done K2. Now get some sleep!

All text Jil Hales. All photos Jil Hales and Dawid Jaworski (unless otherwise noted).  NYE artwork k2pdesigns.

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