Who Needs the Ice Cream Truck?

With the end of summer, I am not only saying goodbye to my garden and orchard, but I can also say goodbye to one major annoyance: The ice cream truck. I will not miss him, only because he literally comes year-round. The daily sound of the ice cream truck really grates on me at this point. The play list looks like this, on a loop: It’s a Small World, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday to You, and then, the pièce de résistance, J Lo’s “On the Floor.” Wow, that is some mix master they got there sellin’ ice cream! I suspect that the neighborhood apartment complex must have some real pot heads in it for him to be willing to come 12 months out of the year. In Seattle. Not exactly a “hot spot” for frozen treats – in every sense of the word. The guy parks by this building for 30 minutes at a time. By the time he drives away I am losing my mind. Then I get all mad, because one of those damn tunes will have taken hold and will stick with me for HOURS!! I thought about buying something from him if he would promise to leave and never come back. I doubt that would have worked, but it was a nice fantasy to have. So saying goodbye to the ice cream truck is the only real fantasy I have going right now.

Since I do have a penchant for ice cream – good ice cream – I decided to make my own. I would never buy ice cream from one of those trucks now that I am an adult. I let my kids buy one last summer at the lake. They all picked out something kitschy, like a SpongeBob Pop, and even they wouldn’t eat it. That is saying something, especially for my middle child who is a total junky for the sugary stuff. Anyway, I have been playing with my ice cream machine a lot lately. I am not sure why now, considering that it is September, but there you have it.

I made a chocolate-cherry ice cream last week that was perfection! I love a chocolate covered cherry cordial and this was it, in frozen form. I just wished my sister had been here to try it. She would have loved it, since she is also a chocolate covered cherry fan. I guess I will have to make another batch for her. It was heavenly.

I also made a batch of Salted Caramel. I burned the first batch of caramel, but since I was following the directions to the letter, I went ahead with it. It was awful. My son said, “This is a weird sensation. It is burned, but frozen.” I trashed that one immediately and redid it using my own common sense and it was delightful. A bit too salty perhaps, but I will adjust that on the next batch.

I have a pear sorbet on my agenda next. I am a dessert-making fool! Let’s hope it uses more than 3 pears this time!

Badda Bing, Badda Boom Chocolate-Cherry Ice Cream (adapted from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream)
2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. whole milk
1 c. sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 t. vanilla extract
2 jars Badda Bing Cherries, drained (reserve the juice) and roughly chopped
1 c. roughly chopped 70% dark chocolate

Put the cream, milk, sugar and salt into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the cherries and 1/4 c. of the juice (just enough to add a purple tint). Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl and refrigerate to chill, approximately 2 hours.

When the mixture is cooled, whisk in the vanilla. Pour into your ice cream maker and process.* About 5 minutes from the end of processing, add your chocolate chunks. Pack ice cream into an airtight container to freeze before serving, at least 4 hours. Best if overnight.

*I did this for 20 minutes to start, but then put the whole lot (container and all) back into the freezer for 20 minutes and then let it process for another 15.

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