Category Archives: Lush Report

A Sweet, Comfortingly Tasty Local Holiday Tradition

It’s been a whirlwind of activity in the past week, and I apologize for neglecting my blog readers. I’ve mostly been eating down all that turkey from Thanksgiving weekend (I even made up a new recipe) and starting some holiday preparations.

Harvey\'s Butter Rum BatterThis weekend we celebrated finding our new Christmas tree with good friends and good, hot cups of holiday goodness. On Saturday, we got pretty toasty with cups of a local favorite, Harvey’s Butter Rum Batter in a steaming cup of water and (maybe a little too much) rum.

For folks not familiar with the batter, it’s a sugary, buttery comfort drink base (you have to add the rum yourself) made in a small factory on National Avenue in Bremerton. Harvey Hudson moved to Bremerton in 1942, and 10 years later made the batter during a stint as a bartender, produced it more widely and the rest is history.

Harvey is now 92 years old, and still goes in to work at the factory in the mornings. And “work” is not just some kind of ambling around supervising kind of thing.

“He get involved, packages and everything,” said Mike Hudson, who’s one of his sons working a the business.

The Sun has written a few stories about him over the years.

The recipe is still mostly the same as it was when created a half-century ago, the only real change to their previously all-natural recipe that they’ve had to make was to replace the real eggs with a substitute to prevent food-borne illness, Mike said.

I asked for the secret to butter rum batter, and here’s how Mike answered:

“It’s worldwide known what the secret is,” he said, then paused.

“It’s Dad,” he said. “His sweetness is what keeps us going.”

So, if you want it, you just have to do and get it. Most grocery stores in Bremerton sell it, and outside of Bremerton, Albertsons, Safeway and Red Apple stores (and I think I’ve seen it at Central Market).

Though Mike didn’t hand out the secret recipe, he did give me permission to share some of the dozens of recipe suggestions that they’ve posted on their web site. The batter itself is non-alcoholic and can be added to a variety of things. Mike could talk for seven minutes straight with ideas on how to use the batter, from cooking pumpkin pie until the top cracks and drizzling the batter on top to a milkshake like they serve at the Crazy Eric’s next door to a grandkid favorite: warm milk with a teaspoon of batter and a candy cane for a stir stick.

There are also plenty of food uses as well. Here’s one I’ve tried with success during a cookie-baking extravaganza:


1/2 carton HARVEY’S Rum Batter
1 cup nuts
2-1/2 oz. rum
1 cup coconut
1 cup oatmeal, or crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers

Mix all of the above ingredients together and make into small balls. Roll in powdered sugar or dip in melted chocolate or butterscotch. Keep refrigerated.

You can find more recipes on their web site

Election Night = Atkins Antithesis

It’s election night at the Kitsap Sun. That means a newsroom buzzing at a later-than-normal hour with the chatter of cable news TV, the usual clicking of keyboards and chorus last minute phone calls as reporters and editors wait for our local results to stream in around 8 p.m.

Oh, and there’s the scrunching sound of napkins squeezed between pizza-grease-soaked fingers and the crinkle of candy wrappers. Keeping with tradition, we’re being fueled by pizza, courtesy of editor Scott Ware.

(We’ve handled the situation without fanfare, though it’s been a controversy in other newsrooms.)

We’ve also got a(nother) bag of extra Halloween candy to dispatch, and many of us went to the big coffee house you’ve undoubtedly heard of to get free Election Day coffee.

Since this is a food blog, I’ll give you the recipe:

1. Dial your pizza joint of choice and gracefully tolerate being put on hold for a minute.

2. When you’re back on the line with a real person, describe the size pie you’d like. Ex: Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large.

3. List your desired toppings slowly to the associate.

4. Wait 30 minutes, pay the delivery person (who will come right to your door!) and include a reasonable tip.

5. Open the box, pry off a slice of your pie and enjoy. Napkins are an optional, but recommended, addition.

Smacking Your Mouth Awake for Dinner

Just a quick post: I was catching up on my news tonight, and happened on a Seattle Weekly article , "The Cure for the Gin and Tonic Rut".

I’ve been known to taste-test a drink here and there (OK, "taste-test" is underselling it), so a little liquored reading catches my eye.

Maggie Dutton offers some suggestions for that tastebud-stimulting, before-meal drink: aperitifs .

I’ve tried a little pre-meal Campari or a gin and tonic, but I usually don’t need any aid for my appetite. Do any of you have any other suggestions for good aperitifs?