Day 20: Midnight snack.
Summer produces the best midnight snacks.
Day 18: BBQ and bonfire.
This Father’s Day it was grey and rainy, but the clouds parted and the sun shone through just in time for our BBQ and bonfire celebration. Piles of burgers and brats, crispy grilled potatoes, corn on the cob, a big fresh salad and just enough room left over for dessert. Teaching our niece and nephews how to toast marshmallows over a campfire and make ooey gooey (and messy) s’mores was as wonderful an experience for us as it was for my dad (grandpa). At the end of the day, we were all exhausted, sticky and smelled like smoke, but happy. So happy.
Summer is awesome. Smiles all around.
When pouring rain is washing away what’s left of spring to usher in summer, when you’re visiting friends the next day to celebrate a belated birthday and a new baby, when the season of Top Chef has ended and when you’ve been abandoned in favor of a U.S. Gold Cup soccer game, make strawberry ice cream. That’s how that saying goes, right?
In any case, after I found pints and pints of beautiful locally grown strawberries at the co-op, I couldn’t resist making my very first batch of homemade strawberry ice cream. Seriously, can dessert get much more beautiful than this?
I used a simple-looking recipe I found at Bakingdom.com (click here for the recipe) (and P.S. her photos are much more beautiful than mine are). After washing, hulling and cutting the strawberries (and stealing about 500 of them in the process), I then heated up milk, cream and sugar, pureed the strawberries and procured some egg yolks.
I CAREFULLY whisked in little bits of egg yolk to the hot milk/cream mixture so as not to scramble the eggs. I have scrambled eggs in hot liquid in the past and it’s gross. Then I put everything into the blender to become pre-ice cream.
After the whirrrrr, I poured the gorgeously pink mixture into my hand-crank ice cream machine. I got this off Craigslist for $10 a few years ago. I’ve made sorbet before, but never ice cream. The idea is to hand-stir it with a little paddle and handle every 15 minutes or so. Except I finished this at about 9:30 pm and could only keep up on the hand-stirring for a few hours before going to bed.
Let me say first that this was simply the best, most purely, naturally sweet ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It was a hit with toddlers and grown-ups alike. I also now understand the idea behind hand-stirring every 15 minutes as the ice crystals got a teensy bit too large and icy just freezing in one big block. But that’s nitpicking. It was seriously flippin’ good ice cream. I am still enjoying it and will be really sad when I run out.
Need a fun summer activity that pays off big time in deliciousness? Make your own ice cream. Homemade ice cream makes it stop raining, makes everyone happy when you bring it to dinner and lures people home from soccer games. Summer strawberry ice cream is just that magical.