The last time I made ice-cream was twelve years ago. My son was in kindergarten and having his first “real” spring break. I tried to think of fun, inexpensive things we could do to make the week special, and thought it would be fun to make homemade ice cream together.
I added the ingredients for mint-chocolate chip ice cream, his favorite, to our grocery list, and headed to the store for our weekly shopping. I came home, put the groceries away, started to make the ice cream, and discovered that I had forgotten to buy salt. Since I have a small, electric ice cream maker that uses regular ice cubes and table salt, and I had plenty of ice on hand, buying more salt completely escaped my mind.
Off we went, back to the grocery store. As we were standing in the express lane with our carton of store-brand salt, I could tell Tyler was feeling a little put out. I don’t blame him – what five-year-old wants to go the grocery store twice in one day? So I chattered with him, telling him, “I promise this is the last time we have to go the store for a while. Once we buy the salt, we’ll have everything we need. We’ll have ice cream after supper tonight, and you can say you helped make it!” While I was chattering away, I opened my wallet and…nothing. Not a single dollar. I checked my pockets. More nothing. And I was pretty sure that I didn’t have any change in the car, either.
Okay, so I’m officially having a bad day now. I’ll have to write a check for 27 cents for the salt. At least I have my checkbook. Feeling grumpy and annoyed with myself, I continue talking to Tyler, “Guess what? I don’t have any money! I’ll have to write a check for 27 cents! How silly. I hope the store doesn’t mind!” The woman ahead of me pays for her things and moves off, I hand my carton of salt to the cashier and say apologetically, “Uh, I this is all I have but I have to write a check. I hope you don’t mind?” He points to the woman ahead of me and tells me she paid for it. She paid for my salt!
I laugh, call a thank-you to her, and say, “I promise to pay for someone else’s salt some day.” My bad day is a good day, as suddenly as that.
Since then, I’ve looked for opportunities to pay for other people’s salt. While I haven’t yet had the chance to purchase sodium chloride for a stressed-out stranger, I have managed to make someone’s day a little easier, plenty of times. Sometimes it’s as small an effort as letting someone go ahead of me in line, or holding a door open for a few extra seconds, but I think it all adds up. Also, I have a tendency to be impatient (just ask anyone who has ridden the car with me), so looking for these opportunites every day has been a great way to slow down and avoid being a jerk to someone I perceive to be in my way. I’m more likely to look people in the eye and smile as we meet up while going about our day.
Twelve years later, it’s spring break again, and I’ve decided it’s been too long since we’ve had homemade ice cream. This time the recipe comes from Veganomicon
After I posted a mini-review of Veganomicon recently, my friend Melissa of The Papaya Chronicles
asked me if I would do a full length review for VegPeople
, the site where we met and now both help to moderate. I felt like I hadn’t made enough from it to do such an epic cookbook justice, so I asked her if she would join me. We emailed back and forth, writing our review as a conversation, Siskel and Ebert style
. It was a bit of work, a lot of fun, and I think the resulting review was greater than the sum of its parts (the parts being me and Melissa!). We didn’t exactly agree about the cookbook, either, which was unexpectedly cool. (She also mentions the review
on her blog.)
As we emailed back and forth, we talked each other into making things we hadn’t tried yet. I talked her into making the Cheater Baked Beans, and she talked me into making ice cream.
This ice cream is amazing. It tastes better than any homemade ice cream I’ve made from dairy ingredients. I think it’s easier, too, since you just whiz everything together in a blender and go.
Mocha-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
This is not one of the variations in Veganomicon, nor is it made exactly like the original recipe. For that, you’ll need the book.
Before beginning this recipe, refrigerate all ingredients overnight, and freeze the can of your ice-cream maker for at least an hour. Make sure you have plenty of ice and salt on hand!
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cream of coconut. This is just the coconut cream that you can scoop from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk when you don’t shake the can. It’s even easier to scoop up when the can has been refrigerated. I used Thai Kitchen organic (not lite) and got a cup of coconut cream, enough for a double recipe.
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 cup Very Vanilla Silk soymilk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces silken tofu (1/2 of a box)
2 tablespoons decaf instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Puree all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor or blender. Add to chilled ice cream maker can and add the chocolate chips. Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker. Makes almost 4 cups.
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