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Afters.

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Crimson cherries.

I’m not really a dessert person.

That is not to say that I never eat dessert. I would rather have a starter and a main, than a main and a dessert. I do, however, sometimes order a little somethin’ sweet when we go out, but then it has to be an unusual dessert, something you won’t make and eat at home. Or when we are invited for dinner, I’ll have dessert.

At home I’ve got tons of recipes, and I’ve tried a lot of them, but I normally make my “go to’s”, of which there is a handful.

At Christmas I thought I’ll make a little bit more of an effort, and since we have seriously hot weather over December, and I’ve canned some cherries shortly before, I searched for a good old fashioned ice cream recipe. I do not have an ice cream maker, but I decided to give a traditional recipe a try anyway.

And we were all glad I did! It came out beautifully, and was an absolute hit with the cherries. I took it out of the freezer when it was more than halfway frozen, and whisked it all up until smooth again, and put it back to freeze. It was possibly not quite as smooth as it would have been had I used an ice cream maker, but it was good enough for us!

Cherries and ice cream.

Unfortunately not the best picture I’ve ever taken, but I was probably in a hurry to start eating! Or blame it on the champagne, I don’t mind! 😉

The recipe I used was from Pinterest, from the blog of homemadefoodjunkie.com. I tweaked it for countries that use the metric system.

VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM

Ingredients

  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • 250 ml granulated sugar
  • 1.5 ml salt
  • 1 whole vanilla bean-halved and seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 7.5 ml pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large pot whisk together milk, cream, half of the sugar, salt and the scraped vanilla bean, including the pod. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil whisking constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Next combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a separate medium bowl with an electric mixer on low, until yolks are thick and pale yellow.
  3. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture slowly into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add another 1/3 of the milk mixture and whisk until blended. Add remaining milk mixture into the yolks and mix.
  4. Return it all to the pot and set on low heat.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir the pot until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to boil it! (You will end up with scrambled eggs instead of custard.)
  6. The thickening process should take just a few minutes.
  7. Pour the custard mixture through a fine mesh strainer (discard the vanilla pod) and bring down to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight – until THOROUGHLY chilled to refrigerator temperature!
  8. Follow your ice cream mixer directions and freeze until soft set. Five minutes before the mixer is done churning add in your favorite nuts, berries and candies as desired.
  9. Freeze finished ice cream for several hours or until it’s hardened to your desired consistency.

And of course, if you are very industrious, you could make a pavlova with the egg whites left over from the ice cream, which I actually did this time! Yay me! But I forgot to take a picture… 🤦🏼‍♀️ I love pavlova with cream and fresh fruit (strawberries this time) – the combination of the sweet meringue, with the rich cream and slightly sour fruit is a winner every time. We had the pav on Christmas eve, and the cherries and ice cream after lunch on Christmas day.

Do you have a sweet tooth or not? And what is your favourite dessert?

Al fresco writing.

Posted on
Is that glass full enough?

So, today’s post is coming to you from my garden.

Yes, you read that correctly. It was a 31° C day today – not quite a scorcher, but hot enough. I just came back from taking Daisy for her walk, and the lovely cool breeze blowing at the moment persuaded me to take a seat at the patio table, with my glass of wine and my laptop.

I encountered a bit of a moral dilemma today. This specific issue has come up before, and my SO* and I talked about it a bit, and then I let it go. I was also really not sure if this is the place to discuss it, but I thought – this is a global platform, and I’ll surely get a few opinions on the matter. So, here goes…

I’ve got this little guesthouse, as I’ve mentioned before. And I have come to realize that it is often used as a place for trysts. (Oh, and right there, I’ve shown you my very conservative side…) Nothing has been said to confirm it, except once, when the couple was leaving, the woman said to me – ‘we were never here.’ Clear enough. But I KNOW that other couples have used the place for the same ‘thing’.

Number one, I do not want to become known as ‘the place to go if you’re having an affair’!!!! NOOOO!!! Number two, if I turn a blind eye, which I’ve pretty much been doing up to now, I am condoning what they are doing, which I’m not. Number three, I know what they are doing actually has nothing to do with me, and their money is as good as anybody else’s money, (so just take it and shut up), but since it is happening under my nose, I know what is happening and that makes it my business.

You see my dilemma?

This is the whatsapp ‘conversation’ I had today:

Can I make a booking for tomorrow evening?
No, sorry, I'm fully booked for the weekend.
Ok, can you please keep me up to speed with your bookings for next month? (Huh? )
Which dates are you interested in?
I'm not sure yet, I'll get back to you.
OK.
Is the place very private?
Yes it is. (That's how I advertise it, because some people like privacy. Wait....ooooooohhhhh.... )
Thank you. I want to self cater.
It is a self catering guesthouse.
Great. Is the room in your house, or outside. (By this time, I should have blocked the guy, which I didn't. What can I say...)
Outside.
Where can I see what the place looks like? (What? how are you contacting me, if you haven't seen my FB page or one of my other listings?)
How do you know about my place?
Through a friend. (Lightbulbs going of all over!!!!)

You see what I mean?

So, do I continue turning a blind eye? If not, what do I do? My reputation is at stake here, as is that of my little itty bitty business… HELP!!!!!

Yesterday I was going on about food, and how I’m going to do new recipes, blah blah blah…

Well, I actually did! Nothing difficult or earth shattering, but different.

I made a honey garlic chicken with roast broccoli and rice, which came out very well. Will do it again. I made some changes to the recipe – I added more red wine vinegar because it was waaay to sweet, and I added ginger and chili. Dinner for one coming up…

Yum -OOOOo!!