Friday, August 20, 2010

The Best Post I've Ever Written About An Appliance

I try to be sparing with hyperbole here* in an effort to set a good example for my son, who has a habit of spewing superlatives on a LIFO basis.   Case in point:   he bestowed the title of "Best movie I've Ever Seen in My Life" serially on Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The Other Guys within the space of a couple of weeks** this summer.

But I am sincere when I say...this is The Greatest Kitchen Appliance I've Ever Owned in My Life***. 

It has a mini freezer RIGHT IN THE MACHINE!!! GENIUS!
To understand why we adore this glossy gray miracle (also known as the Delonghi GM6000 gelato maker), consider the following scenarios.


My son:  Mom, can we make ice cream for dessert tonight?
Me:  Um, I don't think I put the tub thing-y in the freezer.  Can someone check?
My daughter:  Me! Me!  I'll check!
My son:  No, I'll do it.  The ice cream was my idea.

Break for scuffle.   Frozen chicken parts litter the floor as they battle and dig through old Tupperware full of chili, assorted pie crusts, last summer's popsicles, and perfectly good Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

My son:  It's not in here!
Me:  OK.  Well, we'll just put it in now.
Them:  Mom!  It has to freeze for like, FIVE DAYS!
Me: Quit exaggerating.  It's a terrible habit.
Them:  MOM!
Me:  Honestly.  It only has to freeze overnight.  We can make ice cream for dessert tomorrow.
Them:  [glaring at me pointedly]  Hand over the Ben & Jerry's.

A day passes.  I prepare the custard and put it in the fridge.  The entire family is primed and ready for the bliss of homemade vanilla bean ice cream.  We set up the machine****

My son: [who has won round two of the scuffle over the tub thing-y and emerges triumphantly with it from the netherworld of our freezer] Um, this doesn't seem very cold.  Are you sure overnight was long enough? I thought it was supposed to be, like, icy.
Me:  It's colder than it was yesterday.
Them:  MOM!
Me:  Let's just try it and see what happens.

Three hours later (approximately two days after the first request), we have slightly cool, runny custard in the machine and more Ben & Jerry's for dessert.***** 


Me: [During dinner] Hey, kids!  Who wants ice cream for dessert tonight?
Them:  [Looking up at me angelically and speaking politely in perfect unison] We do, Mother!  Oh, that would be lovely!
Me: Well, say no more.

I plug in The Greatest Kitchen Appliance I've Ever Owned in My Life.   No one goes to the freezer.  And 30 minutes later, we have The World's Most Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert.  With a side of Incomparable Strawberry Sorbet.

The World's Most Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream
If you think I'm going overboard with the adjectives on this one, try it for yourself and see.  Recipe adapted from The Farmhouse Cookbook, by Susan Herrmann Lewis.

2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 c. half and half
2/3 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine cream, half and half and sugar.   Split vanilla bean, and scrape seeds into the cream mixture, then drop in the split bean.   Heat over medium high heat just until tiny bubbles begin to appear at the edge.  Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 20-30 minutes.   Strain the mixture, but reserve the vanilla bean.  In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks together until light yellow.    Slowly pour in the warm cream mixture, whisking constantly.   Add the vanilla extract.

When completely combined, return the mixture to the saucepan, pop the vanilla bean back in and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.   It won't get really thick, but should be cooked enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a track when you run a finger through it.    Pour into a bowl or a pitcher, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.  Take out the vanilla bean.  Freeze according to your machine's directions******. Serve immediately. 

Incomparable Strawberry Sorbet
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, which I presciently ordered along with The Greatest Kitchen Appliance I've Ever Owned in My Life.

About a pound of the juiciest, sweetest strawberries you can find, rinsed and tops removed
3/4 c. sugar
2-3 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt

Slice the strawberries and combine them with the sugar in a medium bowl, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve.

Let stand for about an hour, stirring every once in a while.   Puree the strawberries with their liquid, the lemon juice and the salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.   Strain to remove the seeds.   Chill thoroughly, then freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions******.

Oh yeah!

NOTE:  Today's post is dedicated to my friend, Darryl, The Planet's Most Gifted Ice Cream Creator*******.   Thanks, Darryl, for letting me in on this marvelous piece of dessert technology.

* Man, that is the biggest lie I've ever told in my life!
** These toppled the prior winner: Sherlock Holmes, heir to the throne after Iron Man.  When pressed to take a breath before speaking, however, he will concede my point that, in fact, nothing even comes close to Toy Story 3.
*** Except for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and my Cuisinart food processor.   And I'm not just saying this because the ice cream machine arrived in the mail just the other day.  Unlike my son, I distribute superlatives based on the FIFO (Frequency In Full Operation) method.   
**** A decent Krups that was, when functional, about my 27th most useful kitchen appliance.
***** Krups machine now demoted to bottom of the useful appliance list on the basis of being f*#@%ing broken.  
****** Just to reiterate, my machine's directions are:  Plug in.  Go away.  Come back in 1/2 an hour.   Wow!
******* Sour cream ice cream with port-infused cherries.  Nuff said.

No comments:

Post a Comment