Sunday, March 13, 2005

Stream-of-Consciousness Ice Cream

Want to make ice cream. What flavor? What flavor? I know. Mango. No, no. I have pears. Pears that will go bad if they're not consumed soon. Need to include the pears. But the mangos are soft too.

Mango-pear ice cream, then.

Or should it be a sorbet? Let's see, sorbet recipes call for...

Corn syrup? Ugh.

NOT making sorbet. Of any flavor. Not consuming corn syrup.

Look at recipe for strawberry ice cream. Okay, calls for a pint of strawberries.

How much is a pint? Two cups.

Two cups, okay I think I have that much fruit.

Peel and cut pears, stick in measuring cup. Peel mango and commence cutting. Realize I have more than two cups of fruit. Press onward anyway.

Recipe calls for two cups heavy cream and one cup whole milk. Have neither.

Decide to substitute half and half for both whole milk and heavy cream. Decide amount should be two cups total, accounting for the excess of fruitage.

Recipe calls for macerating fruit in one-third cup sugar and three tablespoons lemon juice for two hours. Don't have lemon juice. Have orange juice. Will use evaporated cane juice instead of sugar.

Pour unknown, but small, amount of orange juice directly in bowl of cut-up fruit.

Doh! Realize I should have mixed in evaporated cane juice first.

Measure small amount of orange juice in measuring cup. Add evaporated cane juice and stir. Pour in bowl of cut-up fruit.

"Macerate" for a total of thirty seconds before becoming bored.

Pull out blender.

Macerate this.

Measure one cup half and half:

Whisk in 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice:

Top up with more half and half to two cups:

Pour sweetened half and half into blended fruit:


Stick pitcher in fridge to chill for thirty minutes. It worked with the chocolate ice cream.

Stare at fridge and wonder why there's a Coke in the back. We don't drink Coke.

Close fridge. Check inbox at Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail. Notice zero new messages in each. Become despondent.

Listen to Sister meowing. Realize she is in heat. Experience despondent feeling dissolve instantly upon gazing at her cuteness.

Thirty minutes up. Grab pitcher from fridge and dump contents into ice cream maker. Turn ice cream maker on and set timer for another thirty minutes.

Start watching George Romero's Knight Riders. Think of nothing except how long movie is and if ice cream will turn out okay with only half and half.

Hear timer ding!

Spoon ice cream into container.

Listen with glee as boyfriend licks spoon and says, "Luscious, fruity, creamy goodness."

Stick in freezer to ripen.

Reflect on recipe.

Retrospective ingredients:

2 cups organic pear, peeled and cubed
1 large organic mango, peeled and cut into pieces
2 cups organic half and half
2/3 cups evaporated cane juice, divided
tiny splash of organic orange juice (about 1/4 cup)

Saturday, March 12, 2005


The suspect:

The victim (Identity withheld to protect the innocent.):

The evidence:

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Up Close and Chickenal, Part IV

Our last chicken of the day was a Salmon Faverolle. They, like the Partridge Cochins, are also unmistakable.

They have unusual feet. Five-toed.

The one I pulled out never really calmed down.

She did this for about five seconds:

But mostly she did this:

She also squawked and cried constantly.

She was the only chicken that jumped out of my lap and started running around the room. We didn't take any pictures of that because we were too busy trying to catch her.

When we did catch her, she complained some more, so we knew we'd have to put her back soon. We did manage to get one last shot of one of her feet, though.

I guess different chickens have different temperaments. When they're all together, they feed off each other's moods. If one chicken starts flapping around, they'll all start doing it. If one gets freaked out, they all do. And some get more initially freaked out than others. The first three we held calmed down when they were one-on-one with us. The Salmon Faverolle, not so much. So now we know.

Salmon Faverolles suck.

Up Close and Chickenal, Part III

After we put back Brazen Redcap, we decided to pull out a Partridge Cochin. This one we knew the name of beforehand. They are unmistakable.


(Please don't look at my double chin, please don't look at my double chin, please don't look at my double chin...)

Their feathery feet and dark gray feathers are dead giveaways:

Like the two birds before her, this one relaxed after a few short minutes. She perched happily on my hands as though we'd known each other her whole life. Because we have.

Though as an adult she will be more feathery than most of the other chickens, right now her down:feathers ratio is about 1:1. Most of the other chickens have most of their real feathers already.

A late bloomer. Maybe that's why I like her so much.

One more left...

Up Close and Chickenal, Part II

The next victim chicken we grabbed was probably a Redcap. She was a bit stiff at first:

Holding her this way as opposed to any other way seemed to calm her down. Or at least she didn't wiggle around frantically that way. Perhaps she was so petrified by what was going on that she felt death was imminent and decided to just go with it.

In any case, she did eventually relax. We put her on my lap and petted her a bit.

She seemed at peace so I let her go.

She then did this:

She was already to second base. Our relationship was moving along waaaay faster than I had anticipated. But it turned out okay. She didn't go for my eyes or anything, for which I was most grateful.

More to come...

Up Close and Chickenal, Part I

We decided to spend quality time with some of our chickens yesterday. We wanted to be with the chickens we didn't really pay attention to normally. The first one we chose was easy. She is the only pullet so far with a well-developed comb.

We're not sure what kind of chicken she is yet. We'll have to wait a little longer to identify her. Our guess right now is Golden Campine. What we can say about her for sure now is that, though she wasn't happy about being taken out of her enclosure, she calmed down quickly once handled for only a few short minutes.

She sat on Trustin's crotch lap placidly:

She also obliged us by letting us take some close-ups of her gorgeous self. Profile of her new comb:

Full frontal comb shot:

Close-up of feathers:

Her reptilian feet:

My personal favorite:

To be continued...

Saturday, March 05, 2005

We All Scream

We recently bought a kitchen appliance. This means we are following in the age-old American tradition of buying a specialty appliance, using it once, and putting it away "for later" when it is decided that the item should be auctioned off at a yard sale.

The appliance in question this time was a Cuisinart brand ice cream maker from Bed Bath & Beyond. It features a removable, reusable tub filled with special liquid that you stick in the freezer. That way, you needn't bother with ice and salt.

What I'm trying to say is, we made ice cream.

First we prepared the ingredients. All four of them.

I measured the 1/2 cup of evaporated cane juice (sugar) and one cup whole organic milk. Two cups of organic heavy cream were also measured.

That's three ingredients. Only one left. Easy, right?

While I put the whole milk on the stove,

Trustin got to the business of preparing the fourth ingredient: 8 oz. Belgian chocolate (sans hydrogenated oils). It came in a block, as we'd purchased it from Whole Foods. Trustin cut it into bite-sized pieces for mixing with the sugar in the food processor.

We poured the sugar and chocolate pieces into the food processor bowl to be processed.

Connected the processor, turned it on and...

Nothing. Happened.

Except for a few pathetic whirring noises.

We didn't believe it at first, so we kept trying maybe five more times. Trustin even opened the machine and tried to assess (several times) what was wrong.

More assessment:

Sensing our stress levels rising, Trinket did her best to be helpful. She would stand directly behind one of us and lick the linoleum anytime she felt like something might have accidentally felt like perhaps it had fallen. Even when nothing actually fell, she was always there, our faithful chihuahua.

Because god forbid the kitchen floor should have even one micron of crumb on it.

Dulce decided to get in on the helpful-pet action too, by giving her all to getting the dryer door open. It's her most fervent wish to make it into the dryer someday.

After Trustin and I decided to pull our heads out of our asses regarding the food processor, we realized a blender would, uh, blend the chocolate and sugar together sufficiently.

So Trustin pulled it out grumpily. It really isn't fair for me to be picking on him, because, you see, as I took the picture, I had a scowl on my face, too.

After we dumped the sugar and chocolate in, we fully expected the blender to explode on us.

It didn't. But it did piss us off a little bit because it didn't quite blend the sugar and chocolate together effortlessly. At this point, we decided to ignore the advice of the recipe and just blend the motherfucking milk with the sugar and chocolate, all together at the same time.

It worked. Stupid Cuisinart cookbook.

We poured it into a container to chill it for 30 or more minutes (this is what the instructions specified). In retrospect, we probably should have just left it in situ and placed the whole blender pitcher in the fridge. Not that it matters because our minds were occupied with an episode of Desperate Housewives at the time.

After the chocolate mixture was well chilled, we needed to blend it with the cold heavy cream. So we used the hand blender attachment of the food processor (the part designed for soft things like fruit and liquids, for smoothies and shakes and the like -- the part that can afford to be wussy). Unfortunately, we don't have anymore pictures of our ice cream making endeavor, as we'd lost enthusiasm for documenting it.

Thankfully, we didn't lose enthusiasm for the project itself. After blending the heavy cream with the chilled chocolate mixture, we chilled it again for thirty more minutes while we watched another episode of Desperate Housewives.

When it was done chilling, we poured it into the pre-frozen tub, turned on the ice cream maker, and, you guessed it, watched yet another episode of Desperate Housewives. By the time the show was done, the ice cream was ready.

I don't have a picture of the ice cream, but I do have a picture of some weewee pads I serged for Trinket:

Terrycloth sandwiches with flannel "bread" in a Disney theme... What could be more delicious?

Don't answer that.