Ice Cream

ice cream

See these cream clouds of fluffy ice?  I made them.  Well, to be honest it was the ice cream maker (bought for us by some of our favourite people) that did the hard work, I just threw all the ingredients together with an insouciant flair.

*takes small bow*

The thing to remember about making ice cream is that you need time and patience.   You cannot start the process in the morning and expect it to be all done by the afternoon.  Oh no.  Not unless you count the early hours of the morning as a humane time to start ice cream preparation, which I most definitely do not.

In fact I would go so far as to say that arising during the hours of darkness should be withheld for special occasions and holidays only.  However, even if you did commence project ice cream very early on in the day, there are processes that have to be adhered to, which all take time.  Processes such as waiting for things to cool down.   Things you’ve just been told to heat up.  There’s a lot of that.

Between you and me, I have placed a small wager with myself that I will be cutting corners in the very near future with regards to this ‘time’ element.  All under the umbrella of research, obviously.  Not because I am the slightest bit impatient to see the results.

I recently made a lemon sorbet in our glorious machine, mainly because we had a plethora of lemons, but also because it takes a lot less time.  I do think, however, that I may have overdone it a little with the lemon content as everyone who tried it did the ‘twisted lemon’ face relatively quickly after having spooned in that first mouthful.  I’m considering changing the balance between the amount of lemon juice, made by dissolving sugar into fresh lemon juice, and water.

I think fourteen lemons may have been a little excessive.

Meanwhile, I have also made an incredible discovery.  Did you know that a crusty loaf is created by putting a small amount of water in a tray at the bottom of an oven when you’re baking bread?  You did?  Right… Back to the ice cream.

I used this recipe as I was completely swayed by the strap line, ‘Is Angela Nilsen’s vanilla ice cream the smoothest, creamiest homemade ice cream in history?’ (sorry Nigella).

But I think, having read quite a few recipes, they all, in the main, have an egg, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla combo.  Probably not a diet staple for the calorie conscious amongst you.  Although to be honest, love of great food and calorie counting does seem to me to be a slightly odd paradox.

Anyway, today I have made black cherry ice cream.  It looks the part but still tastes of vanilla.  Anyone know why that is?

Answers on a postcard, please.





Knickerbocker Glory

knickerbocker glory

There are very few sweet dishes which I relish saying as much as this one. Knickerbocker Glory.  Just the very pronunciation of it makes me snigger.  To be honest, I’m not such a great fan of the actual dish, but I really don’t think that matters.

For those of you uninitiated in the Knickerbocker Glory, it as basically a dish of fruit, ice cream, squirty cream, sweet red sauce, crushed nuts, chocolate sprinkles and, if you’re very lucky, a wafer biscuit in the shape of a fan.

What do you mean you’ve never heard of squirty cream??

Squirty cream, for all of you who have obviously lead a sheltered life, is cream out of a can, which isn’t really cream at all, but when you press the nozzle an aerated white substance speeds out with gusto, declaring itself to be none other than whipped cream.

Now then, if we turn our attention for a moment to the ‘fruit’ in the dish, if you are trundling down the traditional route of a Knickerbocker Glory, it really should be fruit from a tin, canned circa 1957, where there are familiar colours of pineapple, peach, cherry (normally only one in the tin) and perhaps a couple of other fruits on the yellow/orange spectrum, all cut into squares, and sloshed around in a sweet syrup affair.

However, I must warn you now, although these fruits are visually interpreting their fresh counterparts, in actuality they all just taste of sweet.

This, combined with the vanilla ice cream etc. is all served in a tall, fluted glass – almost shaped like a mini vase – and served with a very long handled tea spoon.  If you are very lucky, you can still pick up one of these gems at the seaside.

However, if you have not had the seaside pleasure, may I recommend you combine your own delectable delight in a glass?  The serving of a Knickerbocker Glory is almost as much fun as assembling it.

Just don’t expect your guests to eat it all.


plain rice #2

Today has been the most glorious of days, a no nonsense autumnal piece of perfection.

Coincidentally we had arranged a stroll and afternoon tea date with some lovely people and so it was, with a spring in our step, that we pottered off to our agreed destination.

Having just got into our stride of balancing good conversation with an ambling walking pace, the wee boy enquires whether we can go back yet.  I explain to him that as we are not yet there, we can’t possibly start to go back.  It’s one of those interesting conversations small people instigate.  We eventually compromised by us all sitting right in the middle of a set of steps, so as to cause as much obstruction as possible, for a small breather, before continuing.

Inevitably, further along on our stroll, we find ourselves on the way back heading towards the cafe, and after some light ice cream van negotiation, land at destination ‘afternoon tea’.

The wee boy decided that he would like a bowl of rice, and so with considered aplomb, I approach the small crowd of waiting staff huddled together as though planning the Great Escape, to enquire whether I may order a small bowl of rice for the wee boy.

A look of incredulity passed across the group, like a Mexican wave.  Anybody watching may have suspected that I’d asked for the plans for said Great Escape. The question was passed from one person to another, and although one of the group pointed to a large bowl of rice amongst the chilled counter, huddled in-between other salad type affairs, there seemed to be some confusion and befuddlement as to how a bowl of rice could be served.

‘You can have the rice as part of a salmon salad’

‘I’d just like a bowl of rice, please’

‘You could have it as part of any combination of salads’

‘I’d just like a bowl of rice please’

More discussion ensued and then I was shown an eggcup.

‘Would you like this much rice?’

‘Do you have anything bigger?’ (my wee boy is 4)

I was then shown a ramekin dish

It was at this point, that with some desperation, I signalled to the Great Escape group, a bowl shape with my hands.

‘Do you have anything this size?’ knowing full well they did as they are a fully functioning, busy, on the lakeside, CAFE

And at last, the penny dropped and a bowl of rice was produced.

Now I don’t want to come across as a grumpy old mare, but please, if you’re going to work in a cafe, have the nous to understand that any combination of food available, is possible.  It is too much to ask?

Of course this didn’t ruin our afternoon, it only provided metaphorical food to dine out on.  And as a short N.B. the rice was actually delicious.

Eating Ice Cream

photo (84)

I have a confession to make.  I am not a very big fan of ice cream.

*Leaves pause for gasps of horror to die down*

However, every now and again I am told ‘this’ ice cream or ‘that’ ice cream is to die for, and it must be tried.  Being the curious person that I am, I almost always try a recommendation.  Most of the time it is still a disappointment, but today, having already been on the beach and had a wonderful time in the sunshine and sea and therefore completely caught up in the seaside experience, I was easily persuaded to give Di Meo’s a go.

I am overjoyed to say, this ice cream parlour supersedes all expectations.

It is absolutely sublime.  And when I say sublime I mean mouth-wateringly divine. The type of food where you relish every mouthful as though it may be your last.  The temperature is perfect.  The creaminess is astonishingly delectable and the different flavours are absolutely on the right side of delicious.

We tasted the Belgian Chocolate, Cherry (I think I will be dreaming about this flavour for many nights to come), Honeycomb and Caramel, Cookie (Orios) and Cream, Mango, Strawberry and Bubblegum (not my favourite, but is a complete must have for 10 year olds).  However, there are many, many more flavours that I would have tried had I not been full to bursting.  The Lemon Sorbet looked particularly scrumptious.

It just means I will have to go back.  Again, and again, and again.

If you’re within a 100 mile radius, may I suggest you pop by, say ‘Hi’ and indulge in probably one of the best ice creams you will have tasted in your own memory.

I promise you, you will not regret it.

Ice cream floats


I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced an ice cream float, but for those of you uninitiated in ‘the float’, I would like to take this opportunity to fully endorse them.  I am a fan of using cream soda and vanilla ice cream.  Himself remembers his family always using Tizer.

Whatever your tipple of pop, I seriously recommend you try this.

Take one scoop of your favourite ice cream, and add to a glass.  Then pour your favourite fizzy pop down the side of the glass.  Add a straw, put your sunglasses on, venture into the outdoor sunshine, lounge and drink.

Summertime indulgence personified.