“old pleasures abundant”

leaving

This post should be accompanied by images of the most luscious vanilla ice cream in waffle bowls, with blueberries, six bowls, with four adults and two children eating under the leafy pergola. It should be accompanied by their sounds of pleasure as they ate, and then the sound of the screen door opening as Forrest went to the freezer to bring out the container so we could all have second helpings. I think it was the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I made it using my new KitchenAid attachment, mixing 4 ingredients–heavy cream, light cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste– and then letting the attachment do the rest. I’m wondering why I waited this long to order the attachment because I knew ice cream made this way would be sensational. When John and I stayed with Anik and Walter in Amsterdam in 2010, Anik made pear ice cream the same way and it was heavenly. I’ve found a recipe using caramelized pears and will make it as soon as late summer pears are available. It was Anik who gave us the gift of Robert Bly’s Turkish Pears in August, the edition so beautifully designed and printed by Gaylord Schanilec at Midnight Paper Sales in 2005, and maybe she knew something then that I had to find out, in time:

Sometimes a poem has her own husband
And children, her nooks and gardens and kitchens,
Her stairs, and those sweet-armed serving boys
Who carry veal in shiny copper pans.
Some poems do give plebeian sweets
Tastier than the chocolates French diners
Eat at evening, and old pleasures abundant
As Turkish pears in the garden in August.

This post should be accompanied by images but I didn’t think to record the results. This morning I made two more batches, one sweetened with maple sugar and maple syrup in equal amounts, and one studded with blackberries. The second batch didn’t thicken as it should have because it seems that the freezer container you use for churning doesn’t stay cold enough for two batches made in quick succession. That’s fine. I’m learning. But it’s in the freezer now and I think it will just be a harder ice cream to scoop out this evening. A scoop of each flavour, with blueberries or blackberries, in waffle bowls for those who want them or in ceramics for those, like me, who prefer their ice cream that way: a summer dessert on the last day of July.

2 thoughts on ““old pleasures abundant””

  1. I have a good friend with Alzheimers who I take out weekly for a drive and ice cream. Sadly, he now has little interest in food and often has to be fed. But he will quickly scoop up his Moose Tracks ice cream. We have been to every ice cream shop within 25k and been amazed at the variety available. Especially as I grew up in England in the 1950s where there was just vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, or a mix of all three if you really wanted to indulge. Your home made ice cream sounds wonderful!

    1. Ice cream is such a primal pleasure, I think, and how heartening that your friend can still enjoy it. My mother loved ginger ice cream. There was a small family business in Halifax where she went as a child and when my family lived in Halifax in the early 1960s — my father was in the navy– I remember being charmed by her delight that the place was still there and still making ginger ice cream. Next one on my list: peach and ginger.

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