Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jumping Off the High Dive

Remember when you were a kid, and during miserably hot summers you went to your local junior high swimming pool and paddled amongst the mothers, their floating toddlers, screaming kids, and sometimes, you got up the gumption to climb up to the diving boards?


There was the “regular” diving board which was bouncy and intimidating enough for any normal person. And then, there was the high dive. It towered. It mocked from on high. It waited. It absolutely, positively, created huge pits of fear that were lodged somewhere between my throat and my intestines, and that fear pounded. In my ears, in my neck, in my heart. Regardless, I’d climb that high-dive every so often. Then I’d dawdle, toeing the edge. I’d look down at all the impatient kids waiting for me. Finally I’d jump off, cannon ball-propelled, and emerge from the diving pool dripping, smarting from the great slap of water on my butt, and bouncing around from the adrenaline rush.

There’s nothing like grabbing that high dive for all its menacing worth and emerge triumphant.

I think there are high-dives in everything. In your career. In your family. In your relationship to your body, your health, your mind, your emotions, your relationships. And, of course, in food. I’ve since overcome my first major high-dive fear of food (Yeast Beasties! Here and Here and Here.) But it was time to take on a new challenge. One I’d been gearing up for all summer. Of course, now that it’s not summer anymore, and I’d toed the edge long enough, I leapt. And, well, making ice cream just isn’t as hard as I thought. Go fig.

From The Vagabond Table

I was lucky enough to steal, er…gift myself…with my mom’s Cuisinart ice cream maker from the garage this past July. Let me tell you, carrying an ice cream maker through airport security in a banana-shaped bag raises a lot of eyebrows and questions, but mostly I got a lot of smiles when I told them what I was hauling around. I mean...everyone loves ice cream.

After searching the internet for the perfect ice cream recipe for some dear friends who came to visit, Annie and Liz (fellow volunteers when we were in Chile about 5 years ago), we found David Lebovitz’s recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream. Uh. You might have just zoned out for a hot second after I wrote that. Totally understandable. I did too. Salted? Butter? Caramel? Swoon.

From The Vagabond Table

This was definitely a task that required an extra hand or two to help scrape down bowls and whisk and the like, but it was a fun group project. Also, it turns out my ice cream maker isn’t hard to use at all, so Pumpkin Ice Cream…I’m lookin’ at you this Fall. Also, this caramel ice cream was a dream. That perfect balance of rich, caramel sweetness with the tang of some salt thrown in here and there. It doesn’t hurt that this recipe calls for milk, egg yolks AND heavy cream. Yeah. When I finally approach the high dive, I don’t half-ass anything. I cannonball it for full effect, and this ice cream was the mother of rich, velvety awesomeness.

If you have an ice cream maker gathering dust in your garage… make this ice cream. If you have a friend who has an ice cream maker…do a group thing and make this ice cream. Whatever you do, please: make this ice cream.


DC said...

think about that 20 feet high board when you make dark chocolate sorbet...SWOON!:))...You should have also told to all that the ice cream will never make it in a bowl, but it's best eaten standing up at the kitchen counter out of the container....:)

wishful nals said...

yuuuum! good for you! i have an ice cream maker, too -- makes it much easier! xxxo

Silver Strands said...

GREAT post! I desperately need an ice cream maker. The fall flavors have my mouth watering.