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On Ice Cream, and Rhubarb-Raspberry Ripple

My grandmother was a difficult woman.

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She was difficult to get along with and difficult to figure out, and she was near impossible to get close to.

She was the type of woman who asked her grand kids to call her by her first name... and smoked cigarettes inside... and wore brown lipstick. She refused to roll the windows down or turn the air on, even in August, and no matter how long the drive. She didn't bake cookies, or make art projects, or read stories. She hugged, but rarely, and she never held hands.

Sometimes, though, if circumstances we're right, she was wonderful.

I remember one summer, sometime in the mid-eighties. We we're in Chicago, visiting my mom's family, and the time came for the obligatory trip to grandma's house. It was stifling hot. She wouldn't roll the car windows down, of course, and my brothers and I sweated until we stuck to the back seat - six skinny legs in a row. She was taking us somewhere special, she said, and we just prayed we would get there soon.

I still remember the look on her face when she pulled up to the Baskin-Robbins: pure triumph. She was, perhaps, more pleased than I had ever seen her.

"Thirty-one flavors. They have thirty-one flavors of ice cream." She couldn't have been more satisfied if she'd announced she was taking us to Disney world.

I don't remember what I chose, but I remember it took me a long time. She held me up and read all the flavor names to me, patiently and kindly.

On the way home, she rolled the windows down.

The breeze felt so good.

I wouldn't have believed it at the time, but ice cream comes in more than thirty-one flavors. If you have an ice cream maker, the possibilities are endless and the results are fresher, creamier and more flavorful. Add in fresh rhubarb and raspberries, and what you get is nothing short of wonderful.

Rhubarb-Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

  • 2 c. fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4. c. light brown sugar
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. fresh raspberries
  • 1 T. granulated sugar

Combine chopped rhubarb, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb has broken down, stirring frequently. This should take fifteen or twenty minutes. Remove from heat and further process rhubarb in a blender or food processor until any large pieces of pulp are broken up. The rhubarb does not need to be completely liquified. Refrigerate rhubarb sauce until it is very cold, at least four hours.

After rhubarb sauce is completely chilled, make ice cream base. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cream, 2/3 c. sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved. (You can chill this mixture, too, if you want, but I find it is cold enough to use at this point as long as it was mixed quickly.) Following the directions for your ice cream maker, add this mixture to your pre-chilled bowl and begin churning. Within the first few minutes of churning, add the rhubarb sauce in a steady stream. Churn until ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency.

While ice cream is churning, combine raspberries and remaining sugar in a small bowl, and mash well. Store in refrigerator until ice cream is done.

Transfer ice cream from the machine into an air-tight freezer container. Scoop one-third of the ice cream into the container and top with one-third of the raspberry mixture. Repeat until all ice cream and raspberries have been used. Swirl together with a wooden spoon and freeze for a few hours to achieve a firmer consistency.

Makes about 6 cups of ice cream.

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Posted in Organic Products Post Date 01/28/2017