Besides the POETRY ZONE, I also find myself increasingly in the FROZEN CONFECTION ZONE. For many years, I entertained the idea of going into business making and selling avant-garde ice creams. Last year, I actually made some sorbet from scratch (without a machine - which means you basically have to babysit your sorbet all day, stirring it up to make sure it doesn't just freeze into a 9x9 block of flavor-ice). This spring, I made a vanilla-ginger ice cream (again, with the babysitting). Over the last few months, I have been gifted with a book of ice cream recipes, some ice cream dishes, and an ice cream scoop. So, the only thing barring me from a fabulous career in innovative gelato-making was the lack of an ice cream machine.
Well, no longer. Yesterday, I bought off Amazon this double-barrelled Cuisinart doohicky that lets you make two batches at a time. Hey, if you're going to do it, do it big. I'm looking forward to trying out a recipe for cinnamon basil ice cream. And my childhood dream of celery sorbet is that much closer to becoming a reality.
All this is a long way of saying that if you accept an invite to my home in the next few months, you'll likely find yourself an unwitting tester of what will probably turn out to be largely unpalatable and increasingly rococo ice creams.
Recently, I also acquired a set of popsicle molds, which I used a couple of weeks ago to make plum popsicles. That's right. I went to the farmer's market. I bought plums. I pitted them, boiled them in sugar and water, ran them through a food mill, and froze the results in my precious yuppie-tastic star-shaped popsicle molds. I told my mom about this on the phone, and there was a certain silence on the other end of the line. A recognizable silence. You know how you end up knowing certain people so well that you actually recognize the substantive import of their various kinds of silence? Well, this was my mother's "That is the biggest waste of time I have ever heard of" silence. And I can't really deny it. I mean, the making popsicles from scratch out of farmer's market plums is probably the most gratuitous display of consumption I have ever indulged in. The home-cooking equivalent of lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills, or wiping your brow with monogrammed linen hankerchiefs pre-moistened with champagne.
They were delicious.