I've never felt more like myself since I started writing about food, which is pretty much the best gift my keyboard could give me. For the better part of my early 20s, I really felt like I was standing outside myself - like I was watching a version of myself that wasn't all of me. I was always trying to be something. And of course, I still am trying to be something, but now it feels like that something is right. I don't feel like I'm watching myself anymore. I just am.
Now that I've realized this, I am ready to push myself harder and to fail more often and to put myself out there. I'm comfortable with my goals and my dreams. At the beginning of the year, I wrote out a list of 4 goals for the year. Short and sweet. Number three on that list is "dream smarter," and that I am.
But in realizing that my dreams are right there waiting for me if I'm ready to grab them, I sometimes retreat. I think about writing all day and when I finally sit down to do it, a couch, a glass of wine, a scoop of ice cream (or three) and some I-shouldn't-be-watching-this-alone Walking Dead episodes call my name instead. It's not becaues I'm not a hard worker and it's not because I don't know what I want. Sometimes I just have to go with the flow and go with what my gut tells me to do.
This is life too. This is food too. Go with your instincts and you will be fine.
I've wanted to make ice cream at home for a long time (like 10 years, long time), but with no ice cream maker, I pretty much thought it just wasn't in the flow of things for me. Then I realized what I try to tell people all the time- you don't need all the gadgets to do things. You don't need everything to try something. And so I made ice cream. Without an ice cream maker. And it was good. And there will be more. More ice cream. Yes please.
Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream
makes 1 quart
ice cream recipe & method adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup milk (I used 2% and wouldn't go lower than that)
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or pure cane sugar)
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks (save your white for an angel food cake)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided
1 pint strawberries, halved
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the strawberries, preheat your oven to 375 F. Slice the strawberries in half and line them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Mix together the 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and sprinkle over the berries. Roast for about 30 minutes. When cooled, remove along with the juices. (This is where I chopped the berries, but I would recommend pureeing them with an blender or food processor instead- the chunks were a little too cold to eat in the ice cream)
For the ice cream...
1. Heat the milk, sugar, salt and 1/2 tsp. vanilla in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.
2. While the milk mixture is heating, set up an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, then place a slightly smaller bowl in the ice water. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve or strainer over the ice bath set-up.
3. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork. Pour a small amount of the warm milk mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Then pour the eggs into the rest of the warmed milk, whisking for a few minutes on low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to run a finger on the spoon and it will leave a line).
4. Strain the egg/milk mixture into the heavy cream. Then stir until the entire mixture cools down. Add the other 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
5. Now transfer your ice cream mixture into an 8 x 8 metal pan. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, the ice cream will start to freeze around the edges. Stir vigorously, breaking up the frozen pieces as much as you can. Add your berries (if desired) and stir in. Place back in the freezer.
6. Come back to stir the mixture every 30 minutes or so. It will get more difficult each time. Don't worry about breaking it up too much after the first stir. The mixture should take about 2-3 hours to freeze completely. Eat, enjoy!