Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ice Cream Thyme

Speaking of comfort food, let’s talk ice cream. I’m sure we all remember hearing the familiar music-box-type-tune of the ice cream truck as it traveled through our neighborhoods.
On queue, we immediately stopped what we were doing (probably playing Mystery Date…I thought the dud was kind of cute) ran in the house to ask for money and, after a brief “you’ll spoil your dinner (yeah, in five hours!)” protestation from a parent, and watching through the window during the entire negotiation to make sure the truck didn’t leave, we finally happily snatched the money, probably 25¢, said thank you (to ensure future monetary assistance), and ran out to purchase a coveted treat – mine was always an ice cream sandwich. Now that we’re all grown up (well, sort of), our ice cream preferences are a bit more refined than Jack & Jill, Mr. Softee, or Good Humor.


A few years ago (ok, 6 or 7 years ago), I received an ice cream machine for Christmas and, I am embarrassed to say, that it has never been out of the box….until now! The “Scoop It Up” from Cuisinart is a handy-dandy “simple to operate…fully automatic…easy and mess free” device that streamlines the ice cream making process and promises “pure indulgence in as little as 20 minutes" (I could say something, but I won’t). A recipe book was included and I decided to make a plain-Jane vanilla, BUT, not wanting to be conventional, I decided to add stuff, not predictable stuff like chocolate chips or nuts, but unexpected stuff, like an herb, specifically, thyme.

Don’t say “yuck.”

Yesterday morning, I put the mixing bowl in the freezer to ensure that it “was completely frozen before beginning” my little experiment. Ingredients for Vanilla Ice Cream: 1 cup whole milk, ¾ cup of granulated sugar, 2 cups of heavy cream, well chilled, 1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme (from my garden) will do nicely (very hopeful that the ice cream doesn’t taste like a pork tenderloin). I took the well-chilled mixing bowl out of the freezer, I followed the other instructions precisely – remember the checkerboard cake fiasco – and turned the machine on.

8:20 a.m. …wait 25-35 minutes.

8:45 a.m. … it’s churning . While I waited I cleaned the kitchen; I am a good, but messy cook.

8:55 a.m. …. Needs a little more churning time but almost done. I felt like an expectant father.

9:04 a.m. ...this is best damn ice cream I ever tasted. The savory thyme blends so nicely with the sugar and cream.

No comments: