Info

comfort & joy | Home & Away

Posts from the ice cream Category

1 cozywalls time hand cranking ice cream grandma 2 rock salt for hand crank ice cream at grandma's 4 grandma hand crank ice cream 6 taste of homemade vanilla ice cream 7 melting vanilla ice cream from hand crank with spoon 8 cranking ice cream then and now 9 homemade ice cream with saltine in bowl

Together with my sister and her kids, we hand-cranked a batch of vanilla ice cream with our grandma/great-grandma on the cement outside of her front yard.  We were celebrating her 85th birthday… the same way we did when my sister and I were kids.

1 sprinkler small4.5 gavin cookie counter5 allium6 cemetary stones8 ricotta10 old souls9 coffee12 folded map13 to river14 iris close drops15 breakfast16 cherry gelati17 earth photosThese are a few pictures from the whirlwind Eastbound research & family road trip I took with my mom several weeks ago.  Yep, that’s the trip I made the granola for; behold! it was a snack lifesaver after two engine-smoking tows and one hazy and stormy Hudson River migraine.  We reconnected with family, made new friends along the way, and were introduced to new tastes like Scrapple, Water Ice & Custard, Reuben Egg Rolls, and fresh Sheep’s Milk Ricotta.

Little did I know the directions my life would be moving in when I took off in the car that May day.  I did not mean to abandon this blog, but I did mean to enjoy life’s moments as they unfolded.  For one reason or another, taking pictures and posting them in a blog article did not quite fit.

I am away from home again as I write, this time I’m in Chicago for a library conference.  During these two trips I have been struck by the feelings of home I have felt while being away, away from my fairly predictable home base.  These feelings are still difficult for me to articulate, but I am working on it.  I do know that having people in my life to share these moments with, big and small, at home and away, makes all the difference.

So, hello again! and I hope that all of you have experienced those tangible and intangible feelings of home since I’ve been away from the cozywalls blog.  I’ll be back sooner than later this time; I participated in my first-ever community food swap last weekend!

My mom’s cousin from Texas commented on my recent use of molasses: “A staple in every Hoosier’s kitchen!” On that note, I hereby declare a week of molasses recipe-sharing at cozywalls.com. These cookies come by way of my Great-Grandmother’s Sister-in-Law, Aunt Velma. Though I never knew her, I cannot mistake the smell of these cookies baking in the oven: the combination of cloves and molasses warms the soul.

When I was little, my mom would let me roll the dough balls in a bowl of sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet. For this batch I used some pretty big sparkle sugar, and the added crunch and shimmer was a delightful result (don’t be fooled by the crunch though, these cookies are also soft-middled). Usually paired with a glass of milk or mug of tea, this week at the store there was a bargain on black cherry gelato. Together with that blackstrap molasses cookie, the gelato was transformed into a black forest trifle of molasses sorts. I like to think of it as Blackstrap Forest.

Aunt Velma’s Molasses Cookies

Preheat Oven to 375-degrees

Mix together:
3/4 cups shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
about 2 cups flour

Roll in balls “the size of walnuts” and dip in sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes.

A la mode.  That’s right, it’s like a root beer float in a bowl minus the extra burps.  After a few failed attempts at creating a root beer cookie suitable for a hand-held ice cream sandwich, I revisited an old family recipe as home base. My great-grandmother’s Brown Sugar Cookies* are subtly spicy and soft cookies, some of the coziest I know. I returned to my mom’s old recipe keeper for the directions (a snapshot of my cookie-loving childhood), then made a Root Beer Buttercream frosting for the tops. Looking at the photos I took, these are more root beer perches than floats, but you get the idea. Ice cream on top or bottom: tasty pairing either way.

Root Beer Buttercream
Heat up 1/4 C Root Beer – great time to use flat pop.
(for exceptional root beer intensity, reduce a can on the stovetop for ~15 min.)
Mix in 2 T brown sugar till it dissolves.
Add 2 T butter and stir until melted.
Whisk in confectioner’s sugar until you reach desired consistency.

*You may have the cookie recipe if you join my family or offer a suitable exchange. In my mom’s words, “you’re not putting that recipe on the internet, are you?!”

It seems as though the minute I landed in Philadelphia, it was Spring. The past few days have been unseasonably warm. I ate a Geno’s cheese steak in 70+ degree weather! The outdoor basketball courts and city playgrounds were packed. Fruit lined the narrow city streets of the Italian Market. On a conference break, I had Chocolate Peanut Butter Ripple ice cream in a pretzel cone. Pretzel cone, more on that later. Spring bulbs were in bloom by Independence Hall, Rocky and “The Thinker.” All pleasant Philadelphia Spring surprises.

Do you have a tree-gazing beverage of choice? You know, a special drink to sit and sip once the tree is decorated and lit. Mine is a pink snow float. Assembly involves a few scoops of peppermint ice cream drenched with ginger ale (of course, if tree decorating is extra-challenging, a splash of gin may also be appropriate). Once the ginger ale is poured, a frothy pink bubblemound will appear at the top! Ginger and peppermint are as easy on my taste buds as they are on my tummy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,516 other followers