Today as I type this, sunshine is streaming all around me in my little kitchen nook casting a brilliant light on the walls and counter. I have a hot cup of coffee sitting by my side, and above the counter hangs a gorgeous picture of fresh tomatoes looking so tempting. I must find some fresh tomatoes. Beyond this nook, a kitchen awaits, just begging me to come over and play.
The first new recipe tested in this new house was for the Sundays with Joy baking group. The recipe was a honey and toasted walnut ice cream from Joy the Baker’s cookbook. Ice cream? What could go wrong, I thought! Learning to cook on a new stove takes time. Finding what drawer I put the measuring cups in and which shelf the eggs are stored on is taking some time to become familiar as well. So eager was I to learn this new dance in this new time that I, thankfully, found myself able to relax amidst all of the highs and lows in the making of this treat.
As I was reading through this recipe I had an idea. I knew I had honey in the cupboard but I wanted to substitute a different sweetener. Something that reminded me of ‘home’. Maple syrup. There is something about maple walnut ice cream that just gets me every time. It was my grandfather’s favorite. Is this ice cream flavor common to the rest of the world? Something tells me it is unique to New England. After trips to various groceries stores in town, I got down to work.
A custard based ice cream base was started. As I thickened up the egg mixture, I was hopeful I had inherited the custard making gene in the family.
Unfortunately, I took it a teeny tiny step too far as I cooked it up. I think the heat was too high. No worries, I thought. I strained it, chilled it in the fridge, and about 4 hours later started to churn up the ice cream. Problem No. 2: the new freezer and fridge temperature settings were not high enough! Frustration gave way to adjusting the levels in my patience tank. I was on empty. I took a break from this ice cream project and we headed to the movies.
The next day I tackled the churning process again. This time it worked! And one bite of this ice cream yielded the most fantastic walnut flavor. Toasting the walnuts in a bit of oil and salt was the ticket to taking this ice cream over the top! The maple as a sweetener balanced the rich vanilla bean custard treat. Sweet Z could not get over how custard-like the ice cream was. High compliments! Even this guy had a little taste…
So here we are in the new house and in this new town. It seems so surreal that just one week ago I packed up the ‘old’ house.
Life is transitioning and changing. I have no doubt that there will be ebbs and flows as I meander around the curves of the new roads in this new area. A few wrong turns will be made and it may take a moment before I find myself back in ‘familiar’ territory but that is a fun part of this. Exploring, having adventures, trusting my instincts, discovering new things and creating along the way. Life is rich…as rich as a bite of maple walnut ice cream! Thanks for reading!