Monday, July 27, 2020

Focus on Food

I have my beads, fabric and fiber to keep me occupied while staying almost exclusively at home for four months.  I've completed quite a few projcts and have quite a few planned.  I've read a bit, watched netflix series, walked almost daily and have taken the occassional nap.

One other thing has come to the forefront quite a bit and that is food.  I've never considered myself a cook and a meal I can put on the table in under a half hour has always been my preferred style.  This of course was interspersed with dining at friends or dining out or dining while traveling.  All of which broke up the monotony of having to sort out what to eat for dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY.  In talking with friends I find this is not unique to me, many of us are struggling with what to make day in and day out.  Combine that with some limited supplies and certainly limited outings to replenish supplies and it is indeed challenging.

So yesterday I decided I wanted something fancy, like I would get if I were going out.  I remember  in my many trips to Seattle I would try to fit in a trip to Molly Moon's ice cream.  They always had the most sublime flavors.   

I happened to have an old Better Homes and Garden magazine summer issue, whose front cover was filled with scoops of ice cream in a myriad of flavors.  Yesterday I chose a Thyme and honey one and set out to make it.  I love thyme which I think would be a requirement for this particular ice cream.  I also have a Kitchen Aid ice cream maker that is used to churn the ice cream.

Likely any vanilla ice cream base recipe would work.  The key was to infuse the cream with thyme by simmering with ten thyme sprigs, removing the sprigs and then refrigerating for two hours.  You then used this as the cream in the recipe and in my case I added milk, cornstarch, powdered milk and sugar.  This was refrigerated until chilled for four hours or overnight.

Then a half cup of honey was whisked into the mix and poured into the ice cream machine to be churned.  I cheated on the chilling time so my result was slightly soupy, but still delicious.  Chilling overnight became the perfect consistency.  I feel so gourmet.  I may need to carry on and create some of the other flavors like strawberry shortcake or coffee and donuts (you put a whole cake donut in the mix!)

I can report that the Honey Thyme was amazing.  Sadly Mark does not like ice cream (I know that's crazy right?) so I'll need to work through this quart myself before I can try a second flavor.

Tonight we'll have home made pizza with some left over basil and mozzarella from last nights Caprese salad.  I try to make sure I can use up every bit of food, morphing one set of ingredients into a second or third meal.  The mushrooms from last nights steak will be combined with spinach and I'll make a quiche.  The nice thing about quiche is it can provide breakfast and/or lunch for three or so meals freeing me up from having to cook at least a little.  I'm also grateful that Mark is a very good sous chef and will eat anything I prepare without complaint.

Are you enjoying meal planning and cooking or has it become a chore?  I think shaking up your repetoire a little bit with something like a gourmet ice cream helps keep things interesting.

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