Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Glacée Eyed

This story begins with me deciding to make toasted pistachio nougat from scratch. I know, you're waiting on the post where I tell you about how I'm going to stop cooking so much - which is to say baking a la Français - because it's rough on the waistline. And it's coming, I swear. But first I bring you this tale...

Having determined to make the nougat, I realized I would need to bite the bullet and buy a candy thermometer. It's one thing to try one's luck on sugar at 248 degrees, it's quite another to do it stably with egg whites at a lower temperature. I went to Williams Sonoma. I looked at the $56.00 gadget on offer (one I've tweeted about ad nauseum). I noticed a new one on the hook next to it. It was $25.00. I felt virtuous. Pilgrim virtuous!!

Now, my friends, all would have been simple purchase and good bye if I hadn't noticed the Cuisinart ice cream maker: the one with the extra bowl that's smaller - which is to say more storable - than the really expensive stainless steel one, the one that matches my kitchen in all its white plasticky goodness, the one that can make frozen yogurt, nay gelato, should I opt to lower the fat content. It was standing in the corner, next to the $350.00 copper pots, winking at me.

I should mention I've been keeping Baskin Robbins - not to mention Dolce and all the boutique gelateria on College Street - in business since, well, birth. My first taste of food - on the way home from the freakin' hospital after being born - was Carvel. My mother put some on her finger and fed it to me in the car to quell my newborn cries. No joke. (But let's forgive her cuz it was 1970 and she was 22.)

I estimate I spend about 400 dollars a year on ice cream. Conservatively. Now that's partially because I only buy the premium stuff. It's also because I buy it often, but let's not dwell. I've always wanted to make my own. I've tried it numerous times without a machine and it's always failed. I can't tell you how I've longed to experiment with flavours - vanilla bean and cardamom, salted caramel, booze-flavours of all description, basil and strawberry. I've given it some thought, peeps.

Last night was the last straw. Scott went to Baskin Robbins to get some flaves and he came home with a bevy of second choices. Jamoca almond fudge is not jamoca. Pralines and cream is not butterscotch. And I'm freakin' sick and tired of being on a sugar hangover for 3 hours after eating a scoop of that stuff. For sure, Dolce is pure delicious goodness that inflicts none of the harm of BR, but it's not transportable (they don't do lids?!?) and even they disappoint me. I want Sicilian pistachio, they only have Neapolitan pistachio. Espresso becomes Latte. Trust me, those flavours are unique. You see the dilemma.

The solution, standing in the corner by the copper pots, was right in front of me. It was set out so elegantly. I wanted it. I was gripped by lust.

There was one left in the back - the kind with the second bowl at no extra price. All taxes in it was $100.00. Now all I need is 2 cups of cream custard and the salted caramel (made 2 weeks ago for a banana tart) loitering in my fridge. Don't judge me cuz I seem to be regressing on the "create less dessert" front. Don't judge me for buying (perhaps) the most inane appliance this side of the recession.

Let's just file this one under: K is crazy. OK? And when you come over, I'll make you a cone.


  1. That's a great story about your mom!

  2. I envy you & your ice cream machine. Forget Yogen Fruz. I'm going over to your house when I'm strong enough.

  3. We have a local chain called loco-pops that makes unbelievably delicious cream popsicles. They experiment with spices, nuts and fruit flavors and always inspire.

  4. Good for you. Might as well make ice cream you really love. I've been contemplating one for some time. but. not. right. now. Exercise firs (she says thinking about the ice cream she finished off last night.)

  5. You can be as loopy as you want if you really will make me a cone when I finally come over.

  6. did ya stop crying or did it just make you want more more more!

  7. Freaky - we were just looking at these yesterday, didn't buy one though, so will look forward to hearing about your magnificent icy creations.

  8. We all have our Achilles heel and yours seems to be ice cream!

  9. That's not an inane appliance, it's a kitchen necessity! And what a bargain too ...

  10. A perfectly delicious story all the way around. There's a local ice cream place here that makes ice cream they call "Mexican" (they mean popular in Mexico, I believe). Anyway, it's cinnamon chocolate ice cream. It's to die for, as my grandmother would say.

  11. Wendy: She cringes at the memory of it :-)

    Y: You tell me what flavour you want and when you're finished this ordeal, we'll eat a batch of it!

    D.: That's my kind of place!

    Mardel: C'mon, you can make frozen yogurt which is practically health food!

    Sal: Deal.

    Kate: Ha.

    Skye: It's like we're ice cream sisters from across the globe!

    Imogen: To be honest, I have many, but ice cream is right up there!

    Tiffany: I like your attitude :-)

    Stacey: Oooh, I will try that. Haven't had that flavour in a long time but it's spicey rich.