I'm kind of an ice cream fiend. Ice cream is truly a feat of the culinary world, a canvas on which to paint pretty much anything! We eat ice cream both to celebrate our happiest of times and to console us at the saddest of times. And gosh, does it do wonders for the spirit.
From Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein:
Eighteen luscious, scrumptious flavorsChocolate, lime and cherry,
Coffee, pumpkin, fudge banana
Caramel cream and boysenberry.
Rocky road and toasted almond,
Butterscotch, vanilla dip,
Butter brickle, apple ripple,
Coconut and mocha chip,
Brandy peach and lemon custard,
Each scoop lovely, smooth and round,
Tallest ice cream cone in town, Lying there (sniff) on the ground.
Mr. Silverstien makes an excellent point, namely, that ice cream is much better in your mouth than it is on the ground. That is why winter is the perfect time to eat ice cream. Think about it: no heat means no melting and no melting means more ice cream in your mouth.
Last spring I met my match- a man who loves ice cream just as much as I do! He turned 25 yesterday and we celebrated with Italian wedding soup, Moonrise Kingdom on dvd and of course, ice cream.
Banana Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl
yeilds about a quart and a half
4 cups half and half
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup honey
2 small, very ripe bananas
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce*
Place milk over medium heat. Mix egg yolks with honey. As milk warms, whisk spoonfuls of it into the eggs. When milk hits 170F, remove it from heat and slowly whisk one cup into egg mixture. Combine both parts and bring the temperature up to 180. Immediately pour into a clean bowl (strain if desired). Let cool in the fridge for at least four hours. Puree with bananas and follow manufacturer instructions on ice cream maker. Swirl caramel in as you see fit.
*I bought my caramel sauce at Trader Joe's (also available on Amazon). If you'd like to make your own, here's a great recipe from Sarah at The Vanilla Bean Blog: Salted Caramel Sauce with Bourbon.
Some of my favorite frozen treats in Nashville: