Delicious Episode 1: Homemade Ice cream

Right in the middle of my social media detox I made an ice cream masterpiece. I can’t say I created it because I just followed a recipe, but my taste buds were doing a dance I can’t ever recall experiencing before.

It was the first thing that really made me want to re-engage with social media. That impulse is helping to carve out this little space for celebrating and shining a light on all things funny, thoughtful or delicious. So if it turns you on please like and share. It’s one way we can combat the noise and the negativity of the internet.

Making ice cream at home started for us at the beginning of our quarantine. I talked about it on Day 68 of our 100 day quarantine challenge. It started out as something fun to get us through. But by the time the quarantine ended I was hooked on homemade. Here we are in late look October and I’m still churning it out like it’s summer.

Ice cream making has become a survival balm for 2020. It’s the one consistent thing that everybody gets excited about. You can hardly say the word ice cream without smiling and we all need something like that right about now.

It’s a dessert obviously, but once you get into it there is a flow to the actual making of it. There is an energy as we discuss which flavors to try and and there’s a buzz of anticipation when we get it out of the freezer to taste it for the first time. For us ice cream has become an activity. It’s become entertainment, conversations, connection and a memory captured.

I don’t just mean the memories in the kitchen. I mean when you can’t visit old friends but you used to share a favorite flavor, creating a recipe feels like a tribute to that time, to that occasion, to those people. I can’t buy Jeni’s pints here and I can’t ship my flavors to my loved ones but if I lived in the USA I think I’d buy a pint of hers, send one to my best friend and Skype while eating it together.

Ice cream is like hope, embodied and frozen for a future time when you’ll finally be together again. It has encouraged faith and built trust among us. “Try it,” I’ve said to Thorsten and the girls when they’ve looked skeptically at a flavor, and so far no one has been disappointed. Even when it hasn’t been perfect it’s become an experiment, another jumping off point for theories and discussion.

There is a sense of forward motion to the art of ice cream making. Trying things out, seeing an opportunity to take a chance or do better and enjoying the fruits of the labor. This kind of forward motion is important right now. It reminds us of who we are as humans, how and why we were made. Moving forward is our natural survival method. Keep moving forward , nature whispers to us, Look back only to cherish or learn and then keep going. It’s in the sounds of the wind, the shimmer of the grasses and the leaves, and it’s in the change of the temperature. Nature’s rhythm can feel relentless but it can also feel empowering.

We can’t go back in time but ice cream—ice cream is one of those magical combinations of scent and creamy sweetness that can transport us to another place. Close your eyes and savor a lick to see where you end up.

In the past six months I’ve only gotten more hooked on Jeni Britton Bauer and her ice cream philosophies. So while I mentioned in my last post that I don’t want to line the pockets of billionaires, I don’t mind using these platforms throw a little cash or love her way.

She is active on Instagram so if you’ve got a question about ice cream you can write to her! She almost always responds with tips. (When I decided to detox from social media, Instagram was the hardest app to delete mostly because of her. My sister said, “What? You quit Instagram? But how are you going to contact Jeni??!”)

“Ok!” You’re probably thinking, “enough already!! What is this ice cream masterpiece?” It’s Maple Ice cream with salty buttered pecans. I made it in honor of my dad who shares my love of ice cream and loves all things Maple. I was so curious but I wondered if it would taste too much like maple.

I had nothing to fear. I am wild about this flavor now. It’s cozy even though it’s cold, which makes it perfect for Fall. Thorsten, who is not typically a fan of maple likes this better even than the toasted hazelnut I made for him. The combination of salty, buttery pecans and creamy maple is so shockingly good…everytime, every bite. There might not be a better combination in the world. The recipe mentions adding warm bacon as an accoutrement. You don’t have to tell me twice. Jeni seems to be a flavor genius.

So, if you’re making ice cream at home, here are my Tips:

-Jeni’s recipes call for corn syrup (which I can’t find here) Corn syrup is glucose though so rice syrup will also do the job. The important thing is that it’s different from regular refined sugar.

-Use a metal bowl for the ice bath—everything gets colder faster in metal.

-If you have time, let the mix chill in the fridge overnight before you churn it. If not that’s fine too.

-Make sure your ice cream churning bowl is really frozen before you spin it. It needs to have been in the freezer for 24 hours. But don’t put it in a freezer drawer with things that aren’t frozen yet because that brings down the temperature of the whole area ans then it can take longer to be ready.

-Churn for 22 minutes and then have a look.

-Place parchment paper directly on top of the ice cream after you churn it before you freeze it. It really prevents ice crystals from developing on top as it freezes.

-The Kitchen Aid is not necessarily the best ice cream maker, but it’s the one I have and it does produce great results. Jeni recommends the Cuisinart. If I continue down my ice cream obsessed road I might switch it up eventually.

This glass container from IKEA works great if you’re not sure what to use. I also use the little jars from marmalade to make mini pints.

Enjoy yourselves until next time,

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