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Category Archives: Drinks


Transporting butter across state lines with the intent to combine with intoxicating liquors. Not a crime, but it should be, given how balmy and festive hot buttered rums are, particularly when made with homemade butter. They are just the thing whether the thunder is shaking the house on a wet Oregon Coast night (our experience the last few days) or the heavy, white clouds are laying down their fifth foot of snow today or you are all together at last. Pick up a bottle of serious rum and mash together the base, most of the ingredients for which you likely have on hand. Then wrap yourself in a downy blanket, cue my favorite Christmas song, and sip away. Happy Christmas, gentle readers.

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Nikki - Perfect, even for a rainy post holiday day in SF! Love it!January 7, 2011 – 4:41 pm

ApresFete - I have to admit, I have never had a hot buttered rum, though I sure do love the sound of them. Since I am in Oregon, and the snow just started, I will have to make this the afternoon that I have my first. Pretty sure this will be the greatest father/daughter bonding moment to date. If Dunc loves one thing, it’s butter. Thanks for the inspiration and picture of holiday coziness.December 29, 2010 – 12:55 pm

hODDY - The title of this post is so racy – but hey it got my attention. Hope Oregon is fun!December 25, 2010 – 4:03 pm

Alana - Homemade is so much better than the store bought versions which I think are too sweet. You painted a cozy picture with your story that makes me yearn for a hot buttered rum right now !!!!December 24, 2010 – 3:00 pm

Susan - This sounds amazing. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe this holiday weekend!December 23, 2010 – 9:34 am


My love affair with dairy fat has been going on for at least three decades behind metals beaters pirouetted in pillows of cream and slippery pieces of butter-stained paper.

As it turns out, my earliest memory in the kitchen is of the most famed dairy fat of all—butter. I am standing at my grandmother’s refrigerator, its long, almond-colored right door pushed back entirely, reaching on my tiptoes for a stick of butter. Curling my little fingers over the smooth, vellum-like wrapping, I persevere until I nudge it off the shelf and onto the floor. I rescue the austere little package from the linoleum and pull back paper slowly, expectantly, and hold the slick sheet in one hand and the pale yellow brick in the other.

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torrey - I happened across this recipe looking for a use for some whipping cream that I was afraid might go bad if I didn’t use it soon. I poured it into my stand mixer and just let it go and omg butter! I’m so excited. I have some chicken out for dinner tonight too that I might use the buttermilk onJanuary 31, 2012 – 4:38 pm

AngelaL - So my eldest was also a “straight up” butter eater. I thought it weird but she did grow up to be a great cook. Enjoyed your post!December 28, 2010 – 7:01 pm

Alana - Fun! Fun!! Fun!!! Your journey with dairy fats is spun into a heartwarming tale that makes me smile!! I took a break from butter for a long time, but now we are best friends again! It is sooooooooooo good!December 24, 2010 – 3:08 pm

tania - I like this photo! Lovely!December 15, 2010 – 12:59 pm

ApresFete - Love your passion for the cow’s glory. This is a must do. Of course, you know having me pining for some buttered toast. My favorite treat as a baby was ‘butter bites’; has Elinor explored? Beautiful photo!December 14, 2010 – 1:57 pm

foodies at home - Butter is the secret to life! LOL Can’t wait to try making my own! Thanks so much!December 13, 2010 – 11:05 pm

Erin - Thanks for reminding me about the buttermilk, Carina. I forgot to mention it in the post. I was a bit disappointed with the buttermilk, which, as you say, was more or less whole milk. I keep meaning to culture it to give it some more character. Excellent tip for getting all the buttermilk out, too. Thanks!December 13, 2010 – 4:10 pm

Carina - Butter made this way is SO GOOD. 2 things to keep in mind, though:

1) All the buttermilk must come out or you will have rancid butter in a few days (learned this the hard way). You can make sure it’s all out by kneading in cold water until the water runs clear.
2) The liquid that runs off butter made from heavy cream is not “real” buttermilk. It can be used as whole milk in recipes but not as buttermilk because the cream does not come from soured milk.

But! This butter really is amazing.December 13, 2010 – 3:22 pm

Nikki - Witty! Simply genius! I loved every letter of this post. The same as I feel about butter…I want more, more, MORE!December 13, 2010 – 1:36 pm


Ritual. Repetition with meaning. To begin, it is a single act. In the dark, cool bedroom, I wake up to see Elinor sitting, watching me sleep. I hug her, and she settles her head into the nook where my torso and shoulder meet. She sings quiet, delicate songs to herself. We stay here for minutes; soon a half hour has passed. A memorable morning. This was last Wednesday. Each morning since she has done the same. A ritual. A child’s ritual, more fleeting since interests morph in perpetuity.

Some rituals are less overtly meaningful. Each Saturday morning just before eight o’clock and as Elinor and I head to the market, Dave walks five blocks to get his weekly cup of dark, heady coffee and then walks three more to the boulange, where the smell of baking brioche lingers as he waits for them to finish making his sandwich: soft, pungent Cambozola and crisp slices of pear pressed into a still-warm walnut baguette. I like to think that this is his time to spend with his city and his thoughts.

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ApresFete - I am psyched about this post. And inspired. I am brewing my own kombucha in 2011. First resolution. I share this ritual with you; it is decidedly the best afternoon pick up!! Ginger is my favorite and now I can savor the ritual without the $3.79 daily price tag.November 27, 2010 – 7:59 pm

Bill - I wanted to share a flavor treat with you – Safeway here in Annapolis is having a sale on Trop50 – a Tropicana drink and I got the pomegranate – blueberry combo thinking it might go well with kombucha. Well it surpassed my wildest expectations – 1/3rd or more of the Trop50 and 2/3rds kombucha.

It’ll knock your socks off! Try it…

BillNovember 14, 2010 – 7:50 am

Erin - Thanks for your comment, Bill. I’ve been tempted to try this continuous brewing method for a while. My only concern is the rate at which the newly added sugar ferments, but you’re suggesting that fermentation happens in a matter of days since at least half of the solution is always fully fermented. I’m going to try this soon!November 10, 2010 – 9:47 am

Bill - I use a 2 gallon fermentation glass jar and pull off a gallon at a time. I immediately add back some freshly made cooled tea with a cup or so of sugar in it to keep the process going.

Using this method, it only takes a couple of days and I can pull the next gallon off. Tested with pH strips, my kombucha gets down to around 3.0 and it really does have a bite to it. By adding flavors, citrus slices and sometimes bicarb to it cuts the bite and makes the final result wonderful.

Half the fun is in the experimenting – and that is how I have come to use 1/2 tsp of Crystal Lite powder in it – usually pomegranate and/or cranberry and/or lemon slices and/or lime slices and/or finely sliced fresh ginger. Unless, of course, I am experimenting further.

BillNovember 9, 2010 – 7:26 pm

Tina - Hi I heard about your post from the WAPF discussion group and I would love to take advantage of your kind offer to share some culture as I have not tried making this before. Wonderful read!!November 5, 2010 – 3:15 pm

Sheena - HI!

I found your post on tastespotting, I’ve always bought Kombucha from the store. I would love to learn how to make some, your post is a great tutorial. I live in San Francisco, and if you’re willing to share your some Kombucha culture I will be forever thankful. Let me know!

Kindest Regards,

SheenaNovember 4, 2010 – 6:39 pm

Tiffanie - Hi! Came here from the WAPF discussion list.
A quite pleasurable read. Thanks for sharing! : )
Now for some brioche while my tea cools….; )November 3, 2010 – 11:15 pm

ALANA - Your rituals are so nice–rituals can be so comforting–and fun–thanks for sharing!
I have had your kombucha with ginger and loved it. I was so surprised as the kombucha I have had in the past was bitter and did not appeal to me. I have also experienced making this recipe and again you came through for me–it is so much easier than I had expected!! Let’s get another batch going soon!November 2, 2010 – 5:23 pm

Jenifer - Everytime I read a post, it makes me think of the topic in a whole new light. Thanks for all the great storytelling!November 2, 2010 – 1:58 pm

hODDY - I know you love it, but the many times I have tried it, it is just too bitter of a drink for me, but I know its super healthy for you.November 2, 2010 – 6:07 am