Ellen Clifford
December 12, 2015 1:24 pm

This is Hot Buttered Rum.

Envelope yourself in Holiday Happiness. This is what you will do after reading through An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home by Ellen Stimson. I know it mentions Christmas in the title but please don’t feel like its ideas are limited to being Christian. It is recipes an stories form Stimson’s life of being a massive Christmas fanatic.

She loves Christmas in Vermont. She loves her family. The book is filled with tales of their annual “Christmas adventures” interspersed with recipes to help you play along. I sorta want Ellen as my fairy holiday godmother. She really goes all in for the spirit of generosity and sharing. And kitties. There are cats in there too. Furthermore, the Stimson emphasizes that when it comes to holiday celebrations, you do you. Celebrate the way you want. If that means ordering Chinese and not moving from the couch go for it. If it means going Martha Stewart-style and say, making a papier mache nativity scene then that too is an option. Just enjoy the holiday.

The recipes are straight-up hedonism. Made to strengthen body and soul in a cold Vermont winter. I really would love to go visit New England in winter, if for no other reason than to see what Concord, Massachussetts’s cheese parade is. In the meantime I can satisfy my desires with Stimson’s recipes for cheese balls, mac n cheese, cheese soufflé, mock cheese soufflé, cheese bread…I could go on. There are ample recipes for sweets too. I loved the homage to my hometown of St. Louis in her Gooey Butter Cookies. A cake version is popular in the midwest and I’d like to make these diminutive versions.

This book makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. And the refreshing thing is that Stimson gladly admits that she is a sentimental fool for the holidays. Can’t get enough of the holiday love. She even gets a wee bit risqué. Let’s just say there is a tale of her and her husband and the woods.

Ahem. Let’s get back to this week’s recipe. As my mug in the picture says, you ARE loved. Hello Giggles gave me the mug in the picture last year. I love them back. And because despite my pseudo-goth exterior I adore the warm fuzzies of LOVE, COMPASSION, SHARING and LIFE. And did I say Love?

This is a simple drink to make, and the base for it serves many. I made a batch and have just been keeping it in the freezer for when the need for a bit of warmth and relaxation arises. Did I mention that the ice cream mixture is pretty darned spoonable too? You can’t go wrong with butter and ice cream. Unless of course you are vegan and in that case there are some reasonable facsimiles out there you might try substituting. What could go wrong with a bowl of butter and ice cream? I mean really. Christmas gift to yourself!

Hot Buttered Rum adapted from An Old-Fashioned Christmas by Ellen Stimson

  • 1 stick butter, softened (mine was unsalted)
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened (I had this Zero Ice stuff that is oddly tasty for diet ice cream. And I apologize to the world at large I had diet ice cream on hand.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I added a bit more)
  • Your favorite rum (I chose Appleton’s for this)

In a bowl, mix the butter, ice cream, sugars and spices. I used my immersion blender. Then put it in the freezer until slushy. For each drink add 2-3 Tbsp. the ice cream mixture to 1/2 cup boiling water and 1 shot (1 1/2 oz. ) rum per mug. Love.

I received this cookbook for review but was in no way compensated–all opinions and photography are my own.

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