(Pardon me if I ramble a little, but I just infused my bloodstream with caffeine AND sugar probably way too late in the day. I’ll regret it at 1 a.m. when I’m still wide awake. Oh well, it was delicious. And I controlled myself and only had one scoop…)
Sitting at the kitchen table at 4:45 p.m. on this lovely early April afternoon, I’m listening to the sounds of happy birds chirping outside and keep catching glimpses of sun-rays peeking through the gray clouds that have threatened – and NOT delivered – rain for days and days… I watered my kitchen garden a few minutes ago. Pulled some weeds. Flung a few snails – the devil’s own henchmen – across the yard into the wooden fence as hard as I could. So far, they haven’t been able to destroy my leafy greens in the Salad Garden zone.
It’s 82 degrees outside. The air conditioner just cycled off, the indoors having reached a perfect 72 degrees. I’m wearing flip-flops and rolled up jeans. You could say that it almost feels like summer in the Texas Hill Country… minus about 20 degrees of sweltering heat, cicadas and skeeters. All that’s missing is that nightmarish melody of the ice cream truck that’s already started cruising through our neighborhood…
I heard it late last week. That music, drawing the little children out of the air conditioned comfort of their homes and away from their video games and televisions, like the Pied Piper of modern days… blasting at more decibels than is probably legal, strange compilations of Shakira’s music, nursery rhymes and, always, “The Mexican Hat Dance.”
The music, as if coming from a larger than life jack-in-the-box (like that’s not extra creepy), always manages to grab the attention of anyone with ears and sends a signal to your belly that says, simply, “ICE CREAM NOW.”
The unnaturally strange and kooky mix of “Hips Don’t Lie + Pop Goes the Weasel + The Mexican Hat Dance” … it gets in my head and I can’t help but sing along. I curse the Ice Cream Man and sing along with his creepy music. Yeesh.
I heard the sound of the all-powerful music yesterday – Easter Sunday – in the late afternoon. I used every bit of energy I had to ignore the hypnotic tune. In all honesty, there’s very little I will buy from the ice cream truck. I like paletas, because DUH, I live by San Antonio, and Blue Bell’s Coconut bars, because DUH, Blue Bell’s the best ice cream in the country. Since the only thing I would’ve gotten from the ice cream truck yesterday was the frozen coconut treat, and considering that Blue Bell is having some problems with contamination right now, I was able to stay put inside without being drawn outside.
And, then, I made my OWN ice cream.
I wish I could show you pictures of the ingredients and give you detailed step-by-step images to hold your hand through the process of making homemade ice cream, but I can’t.
Not only did I NOT take pictures, it all happened SO QUICKLY that the Ice Cream Man was probably still making his way around our little neighborhood when I put my finished pan of creamy deliciousness in the freezer. It came together SO FAST, and so easily… and it is soooooooo gooooooooood.
I made coffee ice cream. I love coffee. I try to quit coffee every once in a while, but coffee pulls me back in with just one whiff of one little bean. I.CAN’T.QUIT.COFFEE. So why wouldn’t I make coffee ice cream?
Here’s what you need:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of whipping cream
5 packets of instant coffee (I used the Starbucks single-serve packets that I like to carry in my purse to be mixed with one of the partially drank water bottles [rolling around on the floorboard in my car’s backseat] in case of emergency)
Get a mixing bowl. Pour in your little packets of coffee. Add enough water to dissolve it completely… or if you have a Keurig or access to a little bit of coffee, brew a strong 4-ouncer to mix in. It’s not rocket science, and four ounces wasn’t too much liquid.
Coffee is good – more coffee is gooder. Can you hear my heart beating right now? It sounds really loud. Coffee. COFFEE.
Where was I?
Okay, next up… pour in that sweetened condensed milk. Carefully lick the lid because you can’t waste any of that precious sweet stuff. Just kidding, you don’t have to do it like I do.
Pour in the whipping cream. Now, using your electric mixer – because at this point you haven’t had enough caffeine and sugar infused into your system to give you the strength and energy to mix it by hand with a whisk – just beat it until things start to thicken up. Not too thick – we’re not making butter – but thick. I wish I had taken pictures. Oh well.
Seriously, this is hard to screw up.
Once it’s thick-ish, transfer it to a freezable container and stick it in the freezer. I have some really nice 1.75L (or 7.4-cup or 15 scant-half-cup – you decide which measurement you’d like to use) rectangular-shaped toxin-free plastic containers from the Container Store that are perfect for stacking in the fridge and freezer.
I checked on it after about an hour of impatience, and only the edges were frozen. I went to bed and this morning, while my coffee was brewing, I dug in and had a bite of the most delicious, creamiest, richest coffee ice cream I’ve ever eaten in my life. It was silky smooth, and didn’t even leave that weird film in my mouth like whipping cream tends to do when I eat it straight. I mean, if I ever were to do something like eat it straight… who does THAT?! Weirdo. 🙂
Tomorrow, I’m making coconut ice cream. And shopping for bigger pants… for today, we eat COFFEE ICE CREAM!