We were recently gifted a spiffy almost-new White Mountain ice cream maker, but hadn’t had time to try it out. Then one morning we noticed a pint of whipping cream we bought from our favorite dairy had turned to something surprisingly like creme fraiche. Not wanting to waste this yummy ingredient, we decided to break out the ice cream maker and crank out a summertime treat.
This recipe from the LA Times looked simple and delicious, and we had all the ingredients but rock salt and crushed ice. We made the custard and sugared the berries the night before, so everything would be well-chilled the next day. Then we mixed them together, dumped it in the canister, packed the bucket with ice and salt……and cranked…..….and cranked. Salt and ice work magic with each other in ways best explained by this informative blog post from theKitchn. After about 30 minutes, the custard was starting to freeze into a soft-serve consistency. Time to repack the proto-ice cream into other containers so it could go into the freezer and harden into its final delicious stage. We waited a few hours for our dessert sample. It was still a little soft, but amazingly good.
While reading up on ice cream and hand-cranked ice cream makers, we learned that George Washington spent the then-considerable sum of $200 on ice cream fixings during the summer of 1790. Thomas Jefferson had a favorite ice cream recipe, preserved in the Library of Congress. Maybe we’ll try that one next time, if we can puzzle out his handwriting
Some of our food crops are starting to slow down, others are just getting up to speed, and our fall planting is underway. We trialed a kind of radish called French Breakfast that are very crisp and mild. Most of the early planting is long eaten, or bolted in the heat, so it’s time to plant more as the weather cools. The last one from out of the garden gave us a bit of a laugh. Our ancient Roman forbearers might have noticed the resemblance to a fascinus, an amulet used as a remedy for the evil eye. Blackadder fans might recognize the similarity to a certain turnip served for dinner by Baldrick, right before Edmund’s big drinking party.