Archive | October, 2012

no. 3 Mooose Tracks

11 Oct

 

I would trade everything to re-live  three specific moments in history.

1. The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I.  Besides the complete political, social, and religious climate change that resulted from Elizabeth taking the crown, I dream of standing in awe of the sheer opulence of her ceremony at Westminster and admiring my favorite historical backbone draped in Tudor roses. Elizabeth is the beautiful but biting woman that I aspire to be. I constantly reflect on her quote, “Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.” Lizzie, you animal, I love you.

2. V-J Day in Times Square – Yes, the famous soldier/nurse NYC kiss. Put me in line behind every other girl in history who’d dream to be that nurse or dons this poster on the wall of their college dorm room, I don’t care. Just save my spot. There’s a reason the photo is so popular, it’s brilliant . (Sidenote: Why are people so quick to cast aside something once it becomes popular?)  Not only does the contrast between the sailor’s dark uniform and the nurse’s bright whites symbolize the end of the dark days of war and the dawn of a peaceful homefront, but it also serves as one of many examples of the magic that happens in Times Square and its surrounding finger streets. These two lovers, if even that, are two of the millions of couples who have shared a kiss under the blinding lights of New York City. No where else in the history of the world has one place served as the epicenter for so many beginnings and endings whether  wordwide events or milestones in our infinitesimal lives. I’m open to hear suggestions though.

3. The blending of chocolate and peanut butter. Didn’t see that one coming, huh? I don’t know when it happened, don’t know where it happened, but it happened.  Though the ancient American civilizations discovered cocoa beans before christ, peanut butter wasn’t patented until anno domini. Actually, I don’t know how to say this in proper Latin but like way anno domini in 1884. And not by George Washington Carver but by a Canadian, Marcellus Gilmore Edson! So, maybe MGE knew what was up and smeared his peanut butter onto some French Canadian chocolate. But however it happened, sometime in the last 100 years, someone invented the combo and men, women and children everywhere applaud in gratitude.

Now, as further proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, we have ice cream. So I took a page out of that canadian’s book and brought chocolate and peanut butter to my ice cream.  I made this batch with my fresh cream from the Kilby Farms and Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups. I wonder if Trader Joe knew George Washington Carver?  They seem like they’d hit it off. Upon completion, it was delivered it to my folks at work who need a little happiness in their life becauseworkisterribleandineverwanttotalkaboutit.

I was going to call this batch “This and baked goods are the only thing that get me through my work day.” but that cant fit that on my chalkboard cow, so it’ll go by its common name

 

MOOSE TRACKS

(makes 1 – 1.5 quarts)

(Prep time: 35 minutes)

(Inactive time: 3 hrs)

Spice it up: Add a peanut butter swirl, use a chocolate base, double up on pb cups, or add nuts/marshmallows

Take it down: Use store bought fudge or syrup, use plain chocolate or peanut butter chips

1 cup whole milk

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 cups fresh heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

4 large egg yolks

1/4 tsp. good vanilla extract

1 cup (plus a little) Trader Joe’s mini pb-cups

Fudge Ripple (recipe below)

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the heavy cream over medium heat until your mixture reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5 minutes).  Slice and scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean and add both them and the bean to the milk mixture.  Remove the mixture from the heat and let the ingredients seep for about 30 minutes.

(Side note: Vanilla beans can be the gem of an ingredient list but are rather intimidating for first-time users.  There are some great tutorial videos on you-tube for how to properly slice and pair the bean.  Instead of tossing the shell, I drop it into my sugar canister to enrich the flavor. I usually forget I do that, though, and scream bloody hell the next time I use my sugar, thinking it’s been infested with stick bugs.  Don’t be an ass like me.)

While the milk mixture cools, prepare your ice bath. Take a large bowl and rest it atop of a bowl of freezing ice water. Pour the remaining cup of heavy cream into the bowl. In a separate bowl (lotta bowls going on), whisk the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the milk mixture from the stove into the whisked egg yolks.  I ladled a bit of the milk at a time into the eggs and whisked immediately to avoid scrambling. Once complete, heat the entire mixture to about 175-180 degrees (7-8 minutes).

If your mixture seems “eggy,” strain the custard into the chilling cream.  If not, let the mixture chill until cooled completely.  You may choose to let it refrigerate (covered) overnight.  Once cool, remove the bean, add the ¼ tsp of vanilla extract, and freeze in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.  Usually about 30 minutes.

In the last few minutes of freezing, add your peanut butter cups.  I store mine in the freezer so they’re perfectly frozen but more so I don’t eat them off the counter.  If you don’t have Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups, you can also chop reeses.

To create the ripple, add a few scoops of your ice cream into your container, drizzle a tablespoon over the cream and repeat.  Don’t stir or your product will look muddy.  When the ice cream solidifies in the freezer it will come together perfectly.

Fudge Ripple

(Prep time: 10 minutes)

Warning.  This yields a lot of fudge.  You may choose to halve the recipe or save the remaining for toppings, future ripples, or chocolate milk.

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until boiling. Stir frequently to avoid scalding.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Cover. Refrigerate. Steal a taste. Destroy the evidence. Re-cover. Re-refigerate.

 

After a few hours in the freezer grab a BIG bowl, a LITTLE spoon, a GOOD friend and ENJOY.

Happy Scooping!

 

 

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Kilby Family Creamery

3 Oct

I’m not used to seeing these things ’round my parts.

Until recently, it was quite rare to find a country-music fan in southern New York.  Enter high school summer nights.  I took a trip to Ohio to visit my cousin, Casey.  Casey was everything cool should be whereas I was a big nerd clothed in my older sister’s hand-me-down red Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt with absolute certainty that because it said “A&F” than I, too, was cool.  During the trip Casey took me to my first country concert, Tim McGraw.  We wore denim skirts, cowboy hats and paisley tank tops.  Somewhere where the Green Grass Grows, the Indian Outlaw from Louisiana converted me to a tractor-loving country music junkie.  I swapped the red t-shirt for a green shirt donned with a No Cow Tipping symbol.

Problem. I had no idea what cow tipping was. And who’d want to knock over that little guy anyway? To this day, I have yet to tip a cow.  Nevertheless, something in me is drawn to the watercolor sunsets and drives across the badlands. While I still sing Kenny and Keith with a twang, my draw quickly evaporates and transforms back to a New Yawk  accent as soon as the banjo slows.

Where am I going with this? I needed exposure to the “country-life” wedged between Kentucky and West Virginia in order to fall in love with the music that’s served as my co-pilot on long-drives, my party anthem, my kareoke classic and my medicine for a broken heart.  In a similar way, I’ve  noticed that something is noticeably vacant from my ice cream making process.  Going to the supermarket and collecting ingredients is so mind-numbing. Just as pizza takes on a new flavor when baked atop the warmth of a Napoli oven, so, too does ice cream become a true comfort food when it’s made with the freshest possible ingredients.

So I went to the motherland.

Earlier this summer, The Baltimore Sun ran a challenge sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. It encouraged residents to “become an Ice Cream Trail Blazer” by sampling the homemade ice cream  at our state’s creameries. I may be a little late to the punch, but in the words of the great Barney Stinson, “Challenge accepted!” I knew the journey would be legend…wait for it…ihopeyourenotlactoseintolerantbecausethenextwordis…dairy. 

First on my list, the Kilby Family Creamery in Cecil County.  Something about this family-owned and operated farm caught my attention. According to their website, the Kilby’s have been dairying for over 100 years. The Brown family can barely hang Christmas lights let alone tend to livestock.

I made the hour-drive from downtown Baltimore on a Sunday afternoon.  One of those afternoons where the weather’s just beautiful enough to either round out the day on the couch and not feel bad about it or finally make a move for it and do something semi-productive. I like that I lead a life where going to get ice cream is considered fruitful.

Armed with the latest Luke Bryan cd, I savored the moments as the day dragged on and city roads turned to suburbs, suburbs to farmhouses and pavement to dirt.


The farm was like something out of a movie.  Well, for me at least.  I’m used to Target’s and shopping centers and here I was standing in front of cream towers, tractors, and red rocking chairs.  I explored the grounds a little, taking deep breaths of the fresh farm air to cleanse my Charm City lungs.

But then I was hungry.

I wandered over to the creamery.  For a farm 10 miles off any main road, it was bustling with the customers.  It was a no fuss shop and I loved it.  Offering 20 flavors served by the biggest smiles in the state, the Kilby Ice Cream Shop got it right.

I decided on the West Nottingham Rum Tracks described as “White Chocolate Ice Cream with a Raspberry Swirl and White and Dark Chocolate Chips.” Um, twoscoopsmakeitsnappy.  It was divine. Everything was so fresh. And could there be any better place to eat a whole lotta ice cream than sitting on a bale of hay underneath a big blue sky? The only disappointment of the day was coming to the realization that I’m now going to have to drive an hour to Cecil County every time I want some more 🙂

I may have picked up some goodies for the next post’s batch…

Happy scooping.

For more on the Kilby Family Farm: click here

To visit some Maryland creameries yourself: click here

For some twang:  click here