Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pink Ice Cream, Pink Peonies, Pink (okay, red) Berries

I've been seeing little mentions of it everywhere, and I'm a girl who loves a bandwagon... so I bought David Lebovitz’s ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop yesterday. I bought it before I went to the grocery store, because… well, I knew in my heart that it would contain the perfect thing to finish dinner with. Seriously, it's a cookbook for ice cream. How could it not?
For Seattle, yesterday was sweltering – it was forecast to get almost to 90 degrees. The peonies, at this rate, will have come and gone by Sunday (but don't they look good now?). If you’ve ever lived in parts of the country where it actually gets hot, 84 degrees is laughable. And yet… almost nobody here has air conditioning. Although I grew up in parts of the country where there is heat (and humidity, which people here mention in hushed tones of dread as if it’s the boogie man), I’ve lived here more than 10 years now, and have become a big, mild weather baby just like the rest of them. Ice cream sounded really, really good yesterday. And the kids had been hopefully talking up how summer was coming and it was getting to be high time to make an inaugural batch of ice cream (and they gratifyingly wiggled with glee when I showed them the cookbook and asked if we could read it rightthatsecond), so while they ate dinner I mixed together the ingredients for raspberry sherbet, and when they were done, we trooped over to my parents’ house. We do have a hand crank machine, but my parents have a terrific electric ice cream maker, and we churned it to frozen deliciousness over there.

It was heavenly.

I think we'll do mint ice cream next. The kids are stumping for chocolate, but are mired down in a debate between Philadelphia-style or French style. This debate has less to do with egg or not egg and more to do with beloved cousins live in Philadelphia, but France is the home of the Eiffel Tower and many, many delicious pastries. And although I am sure I will live to regret planting mint, it's looking like a choice of brilliance for a portion of my yard that would otherwise be taken over by blackberries, horsetails and ivy. And the kids love when we make something with ingredients from our yard. They're optimistically suggesting we make strawberry gelato with our own strawberries. They've neglected to note that the two of them eat almost every berry before it can even come inside (although after one unpleasant experience, they're very good at making sure no slug has made its way into a strawberry that they're preparing to gobble up). Also, we get about two not so big strawberries a day right now (that's a child's hand acting as Vanna White for that berry)... possibly not quite enough for gelato.

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