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This week 10-06-15

Homemade Ice Cream

My Mom invented rituals just to keep my Dad and all us kids out of the house. She could only pull each one off once a year because by then we had forgotten how hard it was. One of them was HomeMade Ice Cream. Here's the ritual: First we would have to get the Ice Cream freezer out of the attic part of store room. There were usually spiders and other bugs that had made it their home. It was one of those hand- crank, wooden barrel kind. I think my grandfather gave it to us and his father gave it to him. My Dad had to wash and oil it and beat it back together everytime we used it. Then we went to the store to buy ice and rock salt. My Mom got the Ice Cream ready, which was nothing, milk, sugar and vanilla. I think it took her about 2 minutes. It mostly gave her the day off while we ran around all over the place (even lunch and dinner were beans out of a can, pre-baked ham and slaw … 30 minutes max for the whole thing) .  When we got home we started the "Right way to make Ice Cream" as my Dad called it. There are rules about this stuff. First you put the cylinder (that will hold the ice cream) in to the Ice bucket and pack 3 inches of ice around the bottom, then a layer of rock salt on the ice, then 3 more inches of ice and more rock salt… till you got almost to the top of the cylinder and the ice cream maker bucket was full...  Most important: you had to put the crank on the top and turn it after each layer to be sure it would still turn. When it was all packed Mom would pour in the Ice Cream, we  put in the paddle thing, then the top, then the crank and started cranking. My brother and I took turns. My Mom had us convinced that the faster we cranked, the sooner the Ice cream would freeze. Of course that's not true, but she was trying to burn as much energy out of us as she could, and it worked. The rule was that we could not check the Ice ream to see if it was frozen until my Dad turned it a few times and declared it done, even after that it was still 30 minutes more. It usually took several hours. We probably turned the crank 10,000 times. When it was finished you had to pack news paper and towels over the top and be sure not to let any rock salt get inside, which it always did. The rule was that we had to eat dinner first, then Ice Cream. Dinner took about 30 seconds and the Ice Cream lasted about 30 minutes stopping only for brain freeze. I can still taste the rock salt.. Want to make some? It's easy and you don't even need an Ice cream maker.... Mack's famous "123 Ice Cream" Makes 1qt: 1 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 3 cups of milk. Put everything in a pan and heat it ONLY  till the sugar dissolves, the longer you heat it, the longer it takes to chill it. Pour it in a bowl and let it cool. If you have an Ice Cream maker pour it in and start turning. If you don't, put it in the freezer and leave it for 30 minutes, then whisk it, getting anything frozen on the side of the bowl. Wait 15 more minutes and whisk it again.  Continue until it's all frozen. The more you whisk the fluffier it will be, less like an Ice cube.  I promise it will give you brain freeze, because it's really cold and it melts really fast so you have to eat it fast. Sprinkle a little salt on top for the full effect....

 God's like that: I could tell you how to make some super fancy Ice Cream from a five star restaurant and it would be really good, but it wouldn't bring back your childhood. What are the best things you remember about being a kid? If you're a kid now, what are your favorite things now? I remember how my Grandmothers house smelled and riding on the back of my Grandfather's pickup. God gives us family and friends for a reason. We affect each other, we change each other's lives. Don't miss that part, that's why he put you here….

I wonder if I can find an Ice Cream truck and a bunch of kids?  Create a memory….

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

I love anything with fresh lime juice on it. The freshness, the smell, the brightness and of course this is the SOUR part of this recipe. The chille is the HOT, Salt is the SALTY. The Onion could pass for the SWEET, but after you taste it you may want to add a teaspoon of honey, just for balance. Remember HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET. IF you have those things in balance, everything you make will be good.        



1 large pasilla chile

1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. canola oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium white onion, roughly chopped

8 cups chicken stock

1 cilantro sprig (optional)

1 1⁄2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1-2 avocados, diced

sour cream, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

Tortilla chips (about 4 cups), crushed, for serving        


Toast the chile in a 6-quart saucepan over high heat, turning, until fragrant (alternatively, toast it over an open flame for a few seconds). Remove the stem and seeds and break the chile into pieces; transfer to a blender along with the tomatoes.

Heat oil in saucepan and cook garlic and onion until golden, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic and onion to blender with the tomatoes and chile and purée until smooth.       

Pour tomato mixture into saucepan and cook over medium-high until thick, 8-10 minutes. Add the stock and epazote, if using, and boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes more. Divide tortilla chips between bowls and ladle soup over; top with cheese, avocado, more tortilla chips, and crema, and a big squeeze of lime on top. Serve with more lime wedges on the side.

Posted by Mack Oates at 11:01 AM