Friday, December 21, 2012

One Great . . . hot buttered rum

The week between Christmas and New Year's is made for Jane Snow's Hot Buttered Rum Batter. 

The rushing around is over. If it isn't wrapped or decorated, it probably isn't going to get done. That week is the reward, when we get to slow down and enjoy. For my favorite recipe for doing that, I always say an inner thanks to Jane Snow.

When I became a food writer in the late 1980s, the  food writer to beat was Jane Snow of the Akron Beacon Journal. A constant-motion machine of writing, she won all the awards, she broke all the food news, she caught the trends before anyone else. And when it came to recipes, Jane had a sixth sense about what people would want to eat. 

She still does, even though she took a buyout and went into semi-retirement several years ago. Semi, I said: While everybody else was figuring out blogs and Twitter feeds, Jane was inventing  "See Jane Cook," her  online newsletter. 

She sends it out every week, with stories about life with her husband, Tony the Japanese sushi chef, and her continuing adventures with food. While it has a lot about food in her area of Ohio, it also a timelessness and that cosmic sense that good food in one place is good food in any place. It's free, too: Go to to sign up. 

Hot Buttered Rum
From Jane Snow. Make the butter mixture and keep it in the refrigerator. It lasts for weeks.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup molasses or dark corn syrup
Boiling water
Whipped cream (optional)

Combine the butter, brown sugar and molasses or dark corn syrup. Mash with the back of a spoon or the tines of a fork to make a paste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To use, place 1 1/2 to 2 rounded teaspoons of mix in a mug. Add 1 ounce rum Top with boiling water, stirring until the mix is melted. Top with whipped cream if you really need it. 

YIELD: At least a dozen servings, maybe more.