There are few things I enjoy more in the world than a scoop of really good ice cream. Seriously, the “About Me” section of my Facebook page lists that, among other things, I would “eat ice cream every day if I could.” Unfortunately, my desire to fit into my clothes usually prevents me from making ice cream my main course. Emphasis on usually.
Take the week my family and I spent in Italy earlier this year. We ate gelato 2 – 3 times every. single. day. I am not exaggerating. I had pistachio. I had hazelnut. I had flavors I couldn’t readily identify and certainly couldn’t pronounce, but dammit I can point and I made that mysteriously-flavored gelato mine anyway. It was the thing I was looking forward to most about returning to Italy – more than the pasta, more than the cheese, more than the wine for Godssakes and we all know how I love my red wine. But will you look at that creaminess!? It melts in your mouth in a way that no ice cream I’ve ever experienced can. It’s just (and I shudder to think that my life has come to the point of making this statement about ice cream) surreal. And if you want the less melodramatic rendition (although I don’t know why you’d want that version), it’s just damn good.
But if I were going to look for an ice cream that could equal the greatness of the gelato (because I think we all know that I will never allow anything to surpass it – perish the thought), I would look for it at an ice cream festival. Like maybe the one that happens 40 minutes from my home every summer. Which is precisely where my parents and I could be found at 2pm yesterday afternoon, downing spoonful after spoonful of carmel-oozing, chocolate-coated, nut-filled deliciousness for lunch. Needless to say, it was the best lunch ever.
It also goes without saying that we couldn’t just leave well enough alone and stop the madness there. No, no. Where’s the fun in that? Naturally, we had to recreate the wonder of homemade ice cream tonight in our own kitchen, with all the trimmings. And tonight, “all the trimmings” meant that we grilled peaches, made some waffles, and created one of the best summertime sundaes I’ve had in quite some time. Because if there’s one thing my family knows how to do well, it’s dessert.
Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (a vanilla bean would be awesome here, but as this was a spur of the moment creation, there was none to be had)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until blended. Pour into ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions.
We just threw the peaches on the grill (sprayed with Pam so they wouldn’t stick) for 5 – 10 minutes, until they were soft and had some nice grill marks.
Makes 5 waffles
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tbs. baking powder
1 tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt
Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well at the center. In a separate bowl, gently beat egg, then add milk, honey, and vanilla. Dump wet ingredients into the well at the center of the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Batter will be lumpy. Spray waffle-maker with Pam, then cook according to manufacter’s instructions.