Friday, November 18, 2005

Living on the edge of town at the beginning of winter

The leaves are gone; now blanketed under snow. The woods, which up to a couple weeks ago were obscured with orange and red leaves, are barren. Exposed trunks stand at attention, limbs reaching skyward. The gray steely sky seems colder amidst the nakedness. I zip my jacket to my neck and briskly walk along the fence line that separates the pasture from the woods. My dog zigzags back and forth across the field, obviously picking up the scent of deer that feed here. As the shrouded sun drops closer to the southwest horizon, the sky turns pink as if there’s a fire deep in the woods. The pond, with thin ice around the edge, assumes the sky’s color. For a moment I stand in awe, but darkness isn’t far behind. Whistling at the dog, I turn toward home, crossing the dam cutting across the field. Darkness descends quickly and we speed up. The warm light shining through the windows of distant houses look warm and inviting. As I get closer to the neighborhood, the rich aroma of a wood smoke from a neighbor’s fireplace awakens my senses. Before going in, I stop by the woodpile and pick up an armload for the evening, making sure I have a few pieces of split cherry. Thirty minutes later, I sit on the floor in front of a blazing fire sipping on a hot-buttered rum. My dog comes over and plops himself on top of the book I’d planned to read. He lays his head in my lap and I scratch his ears. All is well.


Hot Buttered Rum
(This is my only mixed drink recipe, normally I take my spirits on the rocks, but this is good on a cold winter evening and especially after skiing. Like most of my cooking, the recipe is only an approximation)

Mix: (prepare at the beginning of the season and freeze)
Quart of Ice Cream (invest in some good stuff)
Pound of real butter (not margarine)
Pound of light brown sugar
Soften ice cream and let butter take on room temperature. Mix together and add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Place in a sealed freezer container.

To fix a drink: Place two tablespoon or so of the mix into a mug. Add boiling water, then a shot of rum, and top off with whip cream and a stick of cinnamon (serves as the stirring stick). Sit back and relax.

21 comments:

  1. Wow, you have it good! The last time I smelled burning wood, our kitchen burned down, and that was the last time my mom let me cook.

    Hi, Michele sent me!

    I hope you have a nice weekend, sage!

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  2. My God, I don't basically drink, but that sounds FABULOUS!!!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today...Always lovely to meet knew people... I got such a feeling of winter and the place from what you wrote today...Your doggie sounds like a real pal.

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  3. That sounds wonderful! I will copy your recipe; thanks for posting it.

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  4. That rum sounds like some recipe!

    Michele sent me here.

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  5. Sounds magical, sage - and so does the drink!

    Michele sent me today :-)

    cq

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  6. I LOVE that you have provided a recipe for hot buttered rums! This is the best ever... I have always wondered how to make a real one and now I know. Anyway, Michele sent me and I love the pics you posted. All the best to you from Charles in Hong Kong while sipping a Myer's Rum & Coke!

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  7. Sounds like here...especially the woodpile part and except for the hot-buttered rum part.

    Thanks for the poetry tip. I plan to check it out.

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  8. It's the little things in life that makes it all great, isn't it?

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  9. Darn...Darn...Darn!!! Now I REALLY know I picked the wrong year to stop drinking!!!

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  10. p.s. Does split Cherry fire wood burn any differently than your run-of-the-mill firewood? I mean, does it have a nicer aroma? What I'm really askin' is, does it smell like cherry pie? :)

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  11. the recipe sounds great! thanks for the word picture too :)

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  12. Lovely post! I have to try your recipe. It is not that cold in Spain though :D , here via Michele's

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  13. I'm here this morning from Michele....That Hot drinky thing still sounds very comforting though not this early! (lol)

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  14. Just so you know, I have not only printed off a copy of your Hot Buttered Rum recipe and hung it in a prominent place in my kitchen, but I have also e-mailed a copy to my dad, who is the bar tender on all holidays and family occasions. If I don't have a nice steaming mug full of this on Christmas Eve, I'm going to be cranky.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be back!

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  15. Mmmm that souds god :o)

    Michele sent me

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  16. Bhakti, wood often gives off auroma, which is why I try to use apple wood when smoking turkeys--and cherry is no different, but not quite as strong as an apple pie--and if it was, you couldn't breathe. Out west, I burned aspen or pinion pine, so the hardwoods are one of the treats of living here--it doesn't make up for the loss of the mountains, but it's a nice treat.

    As for the rest of you, drink responsibility--I don't want to be guilty of making you alcoholics or giving you weight problems (those little drinks have lots of calories)

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  17. Love burning apple or cherry but only get to once in a decade or so when one of the trees in the orchard sucumbs to wind and age.

    I also love the fragrance of a juniper fire.

    Don't know where in the midwest you are from but in Iowa we have a lot of Osage Orange hedge trees also known locally as iron wood for what it tends to do to a chainsaw blade. Nothing in this world burns hotter than a log of that stuff but you definitely need doors on the fireplace as the knots tend to explode quite violently.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Love what I have read so far. I'll have to stop back again for some more.

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  18. AWE..I could just picture you doing that as I read each sentence...sounds so comforting and free...actually romantic too. Even though I do not care much for cold weather...you sure painted a beautiful picture for me...thank you.

    That recipe sounds like a winner!! Perhaps if I can find a fireplace and snow...I will try it too but a partner to share with would be extra nice. (smiling)

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  19. I adore a good hot buttered rum. That's the way I make them too. I've had others, without the good ice cream, and without the real butter, and there is no comparison to the real thing! Cheers!

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  20. This sounds absolutely amazing. I'm definately going to have to try this one! Thanks for the recipe, seems you have some really great ones, perhaps you should publish a recipe book for all of us!

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  21. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Thanksgiving....

    Thanks for the cute joke....

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