Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fresh Mint!

In the late days of winter and the early days of spring (let's call it St. Patrick's Day), some guests joined us for dinner.  We'll call them the Good Doctor,  the Duck Carver, Thing One and Thing Two.  While Thing One and Thing Two played with the Seven Year old Apprentice, the adults were left to converse about adult things.  Many topics were covered, including, but not most importantly, the demise of the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators...the last two Canadian Teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs, of which we were all disappointed with.  As the sighs wound down, the Good Doctor and I got to discussing the merits of all the fresh food recipes we prepare, when we can, amidst our hectic schedules.  We all garden, preserve, bake bread and even make homemade ice cream.  STOP! What did you say?  That's right, homemade ice cream.  Thing One and Thing Two stopped playing....the Seven Year old Apprentice leaned in closer.  The Good Doctor had even brought some freshly made strawberry ice cream and, the St. Patty's day kicker, mint chocolate chip, to share....and then suddenly the children were still.  The Duck Carver continued to check the BlackBerries...I mean, blackberry, but I know one ear was listening.  I heard whispers of "let's forgo dinner, and skip right to the ..."  But I insisted we have a real dinner first.  Sure, I got the "party-pooper" looks, but who cares, I had just made FRESH PASTA in a pasta maker from scratch and Bubble Bread.  It didn't matter, the ice cream was on everyone's mind.  No sooner had the last fork fallen did not Thing Two exclaim, "can we have ice cream now?"  Seven Year old Apprentice was nodding in agreement, and Thing One asked for more bubble bread (nice kid, that one).  I whisked away the dishes, sprinted to the freezer and scooped dollops of both flavours into bowls.  Again, it was quiet.  "This is the best ice cream in the world" my Seven Year old Apprentice exclaimed.  No other moment in that evening will be remembered, only the moments with ice cream.

A week later (when the last bits of the St. Patty's Day ice cream were scooped), it was "matter-o'factly" suggested that we needed to make some ourselves.  And so I did, with a little bit of boyish help.  And with FRESH MINT from the garden.

I don't know what the Good Doctor did, but here's my recipe :

 Mint o' Chip Ice Cream
  • Use 1 tsp mint extract or chop up 6 leaves.
  • Warm up 2 cups of whipping cream with leaves or extract (10 minutes, medium, do not boil)
  • (strain leaves) mix with 1c. milk and 1c. sugar
  • stir in 2 tsps. lemon juice (I used half a lemon)
  • pour mixture into Ice Cream Machine
  • chop up chocolate chips
  • After 15 minutes in the Machine, add chopped chips
  • Takes one full hour, or until the machine stops

First Scoop went to the Seven Year old Apprentice, who could barely contain his excitement.

Thankfully, I too, got a cheer!  "NOW, THIS is the best ice cream yet!, when can we make some MORE!"

:: Insight Rustic Benches Studio

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