Last Mother’s Day weekend was the first time my mom had come to visit in months, so we had a TON of catching up to do: home improvement, spending QT with the furbabies (all three of which are living with me now… talk about a full house!) and, of course, plenty of girl talk.
But two days end up going by far too quickly, and just like that, mom had to head back to the Bay. However, because this was a special occasion and I very rarely get the chance to cook for her, I wasn’t about to let her leave without preparing a tremendous Mother’s Day feast…
Shrimp in White Chocolate Hollandaise Sauce
Jeweled Beet Salad with Chevre and Minneola-Rosemary Vinaigrette
Chicken Crepes Cordon Bleu with Sauteed Mushrooms
Homemade Vanilla-Citrus Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberries
Needless to say, the lady was quite overwhelmed! I designed the menu to feature many of her favorite foods prepared differently than what she’s used to, so of course, everything was her “favorite”. It made my heart swell with pride to see her enjoy her meal so much while she doled out compliment after compliment. And compliments from my mom aren’t that easy to come by!
Getting back to the task at hand, I’m doing the menu recap backward by starting with dessert because A) I haven’t posted a dessert in a while, and B) I am still beaming with pride at the fact that I, Kimberly A. Morales, made ice cream. All by myself. Without a machine, even.
Poor Girl just can’t justify the cost of an ice cream machine right now.
Anyway, I had heard legends of ice cream being made sans machines, but every time I researched the topic it turned out these people were going back to ice cream’s roots and using wooden buckets with lots of salt and plenty of churning. I can wax nostalgic as well as the rest of them, but returning to Little House on the Prairie wasn’t exactly what I was aiming to do on such a short weekend.
So I thought about the granita I am so fond of making and figured if the process works for a water/juice-based dessert, it had to work with something creamy. With the logistics figured out, all I needed was a good, basic ice cream recipe I could adapt to the ideas I had. After a bit of Googling, I found the perfect recipe (and the validation I needed about my no-machine-ice-cream-must-be-like-making granita idea) from the frozen confection guru himself: David Lebovitz.
Since I didn’t have access to affordable vanilla beans, I used the vanilla extract I had in my cupboards. Not the same at all, but hey… that’s what Poor Girl does. One makes do with what one has and makes it fabulous. Back at the ice cream parlor, since I had a bit of a citrus theme weaving through different parts of the menu, I decided to add a bit of grated minneola zest to my ice cream. It gave the ice cream a nice dash flavor, texture, and color. If you don’t have access to minneolas, don’t fret – Meyer lemon, mandarin, or key lime zest would be great substitutes if you can’t find minneolas.
In terms of cost, some of you might be thinking four bucks is not exactly a “deal”, especially compared to some of my other desserts. But sometimes I want ice cream and I don’t have the $3-4 to buy a pint at the store. In the meantime, things like milk, eggs, and sugar are probably going to be in my kitchen anyway, so if I do have them, I can just make the ice cream.
Who knew all it took was just a bit of patience and minimal upper body workout to enjoy some fantastic homemade ice cream?