Well, Clif’s birthday is over and with it our little “staycation,” where Clif took off several days so we could go on bike rides and spend time on the patio, one of our favorite places. We also drove (in the car) to Brunswick to visit our friend Sybil. The conversation, as always, was great, and we went to see the Edward Hopper exhibit at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Afterward, we had gelato at Gelato Fiasco. What a day!
Clif and I had such a good time on our staycation—the weather cooperated beautifully—that we plan on doing it again next year. We spent very little money, and with all the biking we did, our carbon footprint was pretty small. Best of all, even though we stayed home, we really did vary our routine by putting most of our chores and projects on hold so that we could bike, relax, and visit with a friend. As a result, even though Clif and I are sorry that our staycation is over, we feel refreshed and ready to return to our usual schedule with its many activities. As my Franco-American mother might have said about our staycation: It changes the mind.
During our staycation, we also had a supreme foodie experience: We made ice cream. For his birthday, Clif received an ice cream maker. (Thanks so much, Bob and Kate!) A little booklet, complete with recipes, came with the maker, and a quick look at the chocolate ice cream recipe confirmed that I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen—milk, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder. I would also need heavy cream, which I didn’t have, but a trip to the grocery took care of that.
While there is quite a bit of preplanning involved in making ice cream—the machine’s barrel must be frozen, and the milk-cream mixture must be chilled for several hours—the hands-on time is minimal. Truly, the results are so exquisite that planning ahead is a small price to pay for what Clif called “The best ice cream I’ve ever had.” And once the mixture is chilled, it only takes about 20 minutes for the ice cream maker to whip it into a frozen delight.
It is my guess that from now on, we will seldom buy premade ice cream. I’m going to experiment with substituting milk for the cream, which will cut down on the calories and the fat. I will be using organic milk and other wholesome ingredients, and my cost will be a fraction of what it would be to buy a similar product at the store.
Below are pictures of the birth of ice cream. Oh, the joy.