Monday, August 30, 2010

ice cream part two more chickens

since the first round of delicious ice cream experiments, we've made a basil and mint, with the former from mom's window and the latter from cj's roof. it was divine, albeit slightly eggy. (we used 8 yolks. like crazy people.) also worthy of mention: we didn't use any kind of mint oil in this one, just the leaves, and the basil flavor came through a lot more strongly than the mint.

dark and stormy: cubed candied ginger, chopped into even smaller pieces and soaked overnight in gosling's black seal dark rum. the batter was made with a big chunk of fresh ginger, smashed (next time i think we'll cut it up) and a couple tablespoons of lime zest. we tossed the rum-soaked candied ginger into the batter at the tail-end of the conversion process (two minutes before the mixing was done). the result was beautiful. just enough rum flavor in the ginger, and the little flecks of lime zest made it look pretty.

we also made mint cookie, using the peppermint oil again and crumbling up some hint o' mint newman o's to stir in at the last minute. omfg. best one yet?

somehow, i've only put on about 5 pounds. we're going to have to start making sorbet.

. . . .

here are a couple of new tiny chickens. perhaps handlebars will trade me one for a print..?

cock, acrylic on canvas. 6" x 6"


hen, acrylic on canvas. 4" x 6"

Friday, August 27, 2010

food that comes with a warning label? yes, please.

today i had lunch in curry hill with cj; shopping for spices afterward we happened upon a pepper we couldn't resist.

to put things in perspective, a habaƱero pepper has a rating of about 300,000 scoville units. according to one source, US grade pepper spray weighs in at 2 million scoville units. so the "ghost chile" is about three times as hot as a habaƱero, and half as hot as... pepper spray.

cj also talked me into buying something called s'chug. oh my, is it good. also spicy. but not bhut jolokia spicy.

(i'm a little scared, actually. but in a good way.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

preliminary ice cream trials

as a birthday present, i got daisy the ice cream maker for the kitchen aid mixer. (it's the gift that keeps on giving.) the contraption consists of a bowl and a dasher that attach to the mixer. before use, the bowl has to be chilled in the freezer for at least 15 hours, but then it can just live in the freezer, ready to mix up tasty frozen treats at the slightest provocation. aww yeah.

turns out it is dangerously easy to make ice cream. in general, one just scalds the milk and cream, adding whatever flavor one desires, and mixes the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl. next, temper the egg mixture with a bit of the scalded milk; heat and mix the batter gently until it coats the back of a spoon, and then pour the whole mess into the bowl on the mixer. set that baby to stir for 20 to 30 minutes, and if you're adding chips or nuts or anything crunchy or solid, do it at the last minute. this step is called conversion, after which you will have a creamy mixture similar to soft-serve ice cream. transfer this deliciousness into container(s) and stick it in the freezer overnight. this second step is known as ripening, and produces the hard, scoop-able kind of ice cream that comes in a pricey pint.

details of the first couple experiments follow.

we started simply with plain vanilla. we went all out on quality, though, with organic heavy cream and 2% milk from meadowbrook dairy, eggs from the CSA and a vanilla pod all the way from tahiti (well, i bought it on 29th and lex). we used 5 yolks, twice as much cream as milk (3 cups total), and ¾ cup of sugar. we also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract (which we later concluded was gratuitous).

the texture was awesome: super creamy and rich. it was just a tad too sweet for our tastes but on the whole, a raging success, particularly when paired with tiny sweet strawberries from the greenmarket and yellow plums from the CSA.

next: mint chocolate chip. we used valhrona 60% cacao — the little oval pellets, chopped — and peppermint oil. this time we used equal parts 2% milk and heavy cream, and eased up on the sugar (½ cup). we did not use green food coloring. the texture was lighter, and the sweetness mellower. i think the recipe would be improved with the addition of mint leaves, finely chopped or ground, for color and extra minty freshness.

who knows what the future will bring? a few of our ideas for the coming weeks: curry, rum raisin (with gosling's perhaps? maybe even a dark and stormy flavor, with fresh ginger and lime zest?) and something with tea... earl grey? chai? our next batch is going to be gelato (no cream, just milk and eggs), and naturally we'll dabble in some dairy-free and vegan options as well, including sorbet (basil? tomato? perhaps we'll try to recreate morimoto's wasabi yuzu concoction...?)

now then, the recipes....

vanilla (bean):

1 cup 2% milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
(tahitian) vanilla bean
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla (optional)


mint chocolate chip:

1 ½ cups 2% milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks (all from CSA eggs)
½ cup 60% dark chocolate pellet things (or any chocolate), chopped
1 ½(ish) tsp peppermint oil
pinch salt

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

tiny portraits (protein)

acrylic on canvas. each 4" x 6" (or 6" x 4").







Tuesday, May 4, 2010

event horizon


next time you're in or around madison square park, look up. british sculptor antony gormley has installed 31 identical, (methinks slightly larger than) life-sized sculptures on the ground and on various buildings in the area. once you start looking, they jump out at you from everywhere, peeking out at every plane and looking different from each angle. they are reassuring, watching over us from above. or, they are creepy, looking at first glance like monochrome metal men about to end it all.

most likely, i wouldn't have noticed these guys had someone not told me about them... after years of living here, it's hard not to block out most stimuli occurring that far above eye level. but every so often i'm reminded to pay attention, and it's usually worth the extra effort.

(check them out until august 15.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

rainy sundae.

walking down broadway in the pouring rain, i pass a woman eating ice cream out of a cup with a spoon. she's not walking fast, despite getting soaked. that kind of sucks, i think, to not have an umbrella in this weather.

as i wait for the light to cross 19th street she catches up with me, and as she scoops up the last spoonful and tosses the cup in the trash, i notice the umbrella under her arm. i realize that she had it all along, but had made a conscious decision to forgo staying dry in favor of a frozen treat on this dreary day, since after all a body only has so many hands.

we should all make more choices like that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

everything looks better in black and white.

only two more days to see tim burton at the MoMA. the busy, cluttered exhibit made me feel like i was getting a peek inside his head, although not everyone found it as fabulous as i did.

when i was there the other day it seemed to me that more people than usual were wearing black and white stripes.

if the crowds seem too daunting, head upstairs for a gander at the photography of henri cartier-bresson... stunning, poignant images from a long and well-traveled career, on view until june 28.