Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ginger Ice Cream

As mentioned in my last writing I had a Mother’s Day picnic at the New York Botanical Gardens with my husband, youngest daughter, and her husband.  It was a glorious day and the Gardens were showing off their spring treasures.   The cherry trees were in full bloom and offered carpets of blossoms on the pathways.  After our picnic my husband made his way to one of the food trucks in the Gardens in search of dessert.    He found an ice cream truck which just happened to the longest line of all the food trucks there that day.   He bought four for us to sample and after a taste or two we could see why  the line was so long.  It was thick and creamy and the choices were inspiring.   Not your average ice cream vendor.

Of the four we sampled the ginger ice cream was a surprise and the favorite.   A subtle ginger flavor was enhanced with the addition of bits of candied ginger.  On the way home back to Aiken, I decided to search for a recipe so as to duplicate the experience at home.  I located several on the web and chose to go with a recipe on the website Food Network from Anne Burrell.  Her recipes are creative and her passion for food is addictive.  I have only watched her show a few times yet I feel recharged and ready to head to the kitchen even while the show is on.  Her recipe for ginger ice cream also included an accompanying recipe for Molasses cookies that were used to make ice cream sandwiches.  I did not make the cookies this time; however, I will do them in the future.  They sound so good with the ginger ice cream but I did not need any more temptation after being on vacation.
I changed the recipe slightly and these are the changes: 
After bringing the cream mixture to a boil and steeping the ginger for an hour.  I put it in the refrigerator and let it steep overnight.  I then drained the ginger and reheated the cream mixture and continued with the recipe.   I forgot to put my ice cream bowl in the freezer ahead of time so it had to wait and no harm was done.
I read the reviews which were extremely positive but several mentioned it was quite sweet so I reduced the last ½ cup of sugar that is beaten with the eggs to ¼ of a cup. 
Her recipe calls for using whole eggs.  Often ice cream recipes use only egg yolks.  I proceeded with using whole eggs and found that I still had a creamy texture. 
Once finished in my ice cream machine I turned it into another container.  At that point I added ½ cup chopped candied ginger.  Then it was off to the freezer for an hour or two before I could present a sample to my resident ice cream expert (my husband). 
If you love the taste of ginger you will find this a refreshing dessert and well worth the time in the kitchen.   
Ginger Ice Cream & Molasses Cookies; recipe by Anne Burrell on Food


In a medium saucepan combine the cream, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, vanilla extract and ginger. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 1 hour.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat to a homogeneous consistency.
Bring the cream-ginger mixture back to a boil and turn the heat off. Immediately strain and whisk a third of the cream mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and then immediately whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining cream mixture.
Chill the mixture over an ice water bath.
Churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions.
Serve as is, or to make ice cream sandwiches, place 1 generous scoop of ice cream on the bottom of 1 Molasses Cookie and place another cookie on top. These can be done ahead and frozen. Let warm for 5 to10 minutes before serving.
Molasses Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then the molasses. In thirds, gently mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough into 1-inch balls onto a sheet tray covered with turbinado sugar. Gently toss the cookies in the sugar, covering them completely. Place the sugar-coated dough balls on another sheet tray and gently squish a little.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool. Yield: 36 cookies.

Photo; Bojon gourmet
                                                                    Photo; Unknown


                                                              Photo; Food Network.Com


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day in New York City

Time has escaped me these last few months.  Maybe it was the extreme winter that left me with little time and energy to add to my blog.  It seems just less than 10 weeks ago I was dealing with freezing temperatures and deciding how many blankets to put on the horses.  Today, Mother Nature has given me a different set of issues to contemplate.   The temperatures in were in the high 90’s and all blankets were packed away.

This afternoon I arrived back at the farm after a long weekend in New York City.  Months ago I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to go visit my youngest daughter for Mother’s Day.  This is an American celebration that dates back to the early 1900’s.  In 1914 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared by presidential proclamation that Mother’s Day would fall on the second Sunday in May.

Since I was last in the City my daughter and her husband had purchased a place in the Upper East Side. They had previously lived in the Village and Tribeca.   I am so familiar with many areas in the City after living there part time; however, each neighborhood  offers comforts and close conveniences that only a large city can offer.  My husband needed a shoe repair shop within hours of arrival and he found one less than a block a way that could meet his needs.   Seafood, wine, flowers, fresh vegetables, a park to exercise…all these needs could be met without traveling far. 

It was a grand glorious weekend that included a visit to the New York Botanical Gardens and a vigorous hike through Harlem on a quest for the best Burrata in the City.   My daughter had been told that Casa Della Mozzarella on Arthur Avenue held fast to the honor of the best of the best.   We had visions of creamy mozzarella and crusty bread that would be the stars of our picnic in the Gardens.   So my son-in-law laden with a full back pack was gracious enough to “transport our picnic with a smile”.   The Botanical Gardens were in full bloom and a picnic with cheese, bread, and wine offered the crowning touch.   The next evening we spent one evening on a roof top playing Scrabble and watching the sun set over Manhattan. 

 Our Daughter and Son-in- Law enjoying the Cherry Blossoms in the Gardens

Before we could blink….it was time to leave and head back to Aiken.  The horses and our Lab, Traveler received great care in our absence.  Tonight Traveler and I sat out on the back veranda until the last bit of sunlight had faded.   I traded the sound of honking taxies and sirens for the sounds of crickets and the beautiful songs of Whippoorwills.   Without a doubt; I realize a part of me belongs in the city and a part of me belongs in the country.