lundi 19 juin 2006

Ennui leads to... ice cream?

I've been having a lot of days of doing nothing. Classes are over, papers have been written... and I was supposed to start work this week, but since nobody can figure out what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm quite content not going in. I've been seeing the movies I want to see, done a lot of window shopping (including purchasing), and reading a lot. And it sounds nice and all, but I'm rather bored.


However, one of my purchases was a bright cheery cherry (hee!) red ice cream maker. I've been wanting one for ages, so I figured now was as good a time as ever. It's too damn hot to bake or make anything else requiring a lot of heat. But ice cream - well, it's the perfect summer treat.

(Of course, the next day I saw a PINK ice cream maker, but I had already unpacked my red one, so had to regretfully pass.)

Unfortunately, making ice cream is not for you if you're into instant gratification, which I am more often than not. It takes time, mainly to let the freezer bowl freeze. Which sucks, because when I want something, I generally wanted it yesterday.

My first attempt was blood orange sorbet. I simmered a little rosemary in the simple syrup, but didn't really taste it, so I can't call it rosemary blood orange sorbet. It tasted good, but it froze a little hard for my taste - almost like one of those hard italian ices you get in the little plastic containers where you have to scrape off mouthfuls of ice a little bit at a time.

Next was a classic vanilla ice cream, which really I should've started with, for if I can make a good vanilla ice cream I can make anything. The texture was much more what I was looking for this time, and mm, there is nothing like a good vanilla ice cream.

Believe me, I did consider making this a video, but then decided to spare all of you the pain.

My favourite part of the entire process is dipping a spoon into the machine while it's going and tasting the ice cream/sorbet as it freezes up. It is also rather mesmerizing watching the canister spin and spin and the liquid base start to magically become more solid.

Is making ice cream at home cheaper than buying it from the store? The cousin I hate sneered that it wasn't. Believe me, she's not getting any of my homemade goods, and no wonder she can't cook and generally sucks. If you're one who buys Breyers or Edy's/Dreyer's ice cream, it probably isn't. (Not that there's anything wrong with those ice creams - hi, have you had the Girl Scout thin mint ice cream? Yum!) That stuff is always on sale. And full of preservatives. But if you're buying those premium pints that start at like $4 a pint, then it very well might be cheaper to make your own. Not to mention - no preservatives, the satisfaction that you've made it yourself, and the ability to experiment to your heart's galore.

Next up: I'm going to tinker with the blood orange sorbet some more (add a little vodka to lower the freezing temperature and hopefully result in a smoother less rock-hard sorbet, also add more rosemary and reduce the sugar), a cantaloupe sorbet (with perhaps either basil or mint, I haven't decided yet), and a peach sherbet.

Really, I need to start work soon, for I'm fast running out of freezer space.