Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summertime

Dear Summer,

It's mid-September now so you and I both know what that means: our precious time together must come to an end soon. I hate to say it out loud, but you and I both know that it's true.

And no, it's not you! Of course it's not you. I love you.


I love your warm summer nights. Your lightening bugs that fill the evening sky with flashes of neon green. I love how the city comes to life under your sunlight, with festivals and block parties and trips to the pool and picnics and beach volleyball and 16" softball and all the countless other activities that people take on to celebrate the passing of the cold.


Sure, there are things you could work on. You know, things to improve about yourself. Like maybe you shouldn't be so damn hot and humid sometimes. Or maybe you could learn how to stick around a little longer. But hey, nobody's perfect, and I know your commitment issues prevent you from spending more time with me. 

The best way to stay cool on a hot day: 
stealing a little kid's water toy

So I'll do what I used to do every year around this time (before cheating on you with the Bay Area for all those years) and prepare to say my final goodbyes. No, not a permanent goodbye. More of a "see you later" instead.

But before you leave can you do me one final favor? Promise to leave gently, and take your time doing so. As much as I enjoy my time with my rebound man Fall (before the a**hole Winter comes to town), I'd love it if you could hold me just a tiny bit longer.


And in honor of your soon-to-be memory, I'll share with all these lovely people two new ice cream flavors I tried out recently. Roasted banana and Vietnamese coffee. And yes, they were as good as they sound. 

Coffee and sweetened condensed milk are the two main ingredients 
in this Vietnamese coffee ice cream

Bananas get roasted with brown sugar to enhance their "banananess"

Especially the roasted banana. That was my favorite. Just like you're my favorite sason. Well, second favorite to be honest (nothing beats the joy of new beginnings in Spring), but you're a close second after that.

Until next year Summer. Until next year...

xoxoxoxo,

Jacqueline

Sadly, I don't have pretty pictures of the final ice creams. But let's be honest, we all know what ice cream looks like, and my crappy photos can't really make ice cream all that pretty.

But I do have a fun action shot photo.


And a picture of my lovely ice cream bowls from Sur La Table.


They're bright and lighthearted and fun-- the perfect accompaniment for summertime. And every time I see these bowls a flutter of excitement hits me and makes me insanely happy. How happy? Almost as happy as shoving my face full with ice cream.

Circa 1983

Yours in holding on to summer for dear life,
Jacqueline

Roasted Banana Ice Cream, from The Perfect Scoop

Note: This ice cream has no cream or eggs, only bananas and milk. I replaced some of the milk with cream, because how can something be called ice cream if it has no cream in it?!? Not sure if it made a huge difference, but the ice cream was pretty soft and definitely needed an overnight stay in the freezer to make it scoopable.

Ingredients
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup (70g) packed light brown sugar
1 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp coarse salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C)
2. Slice the bananas into 1/2" pieces and toss with brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring just once during baking, until bananas are golden and cooked.
3. Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (overnight is always good), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions.

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, also from The Perfect Scoop

Note: I liked this ice cream, but not as much as I enjoy a traditional coffee ice cream, for I found it a tad too sweet for my taste. But I think it's because I'm not the biggest fan of sweetened condensed milk. If you love sweet Vietnamese coffees, you'll love this!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (600 g) sweetened condensed milk, or 1 1/2 cans (396 g each)
1 1/2 cups brewed espresso (or very strongly brewed coffee), cooled
1/2 cup half and half
Pinch of finely ground roast coffee, optional

Directions
1. Whisk together all the ingredients.
2. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (overnight is always good), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions.


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