Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pickles & Ice Cream

We are ice cream prudes. A couple years ago a quaint little ice cream shop opened up just around the corner from us. They had all fresh, home made ice cream and got as many of the ingredients as possible locally. This year when they opened up for the season it was under new ownership. Now they sell, gasp, Edy's.
If I wanted that crap I would walk across the street to the market. Its cheaper there too! But I cannot stomach the stuff. It tastes like chemicals rather than cream, sugar and milk.
Home ice cream makers have come a long way, baby. I found this little jewel at Sam's (aka- Satan's) Yes, I know. They are a horrid, terrible, evil axis of bulk but they sell appliances, underwear AND meat! Sometimes in the same isle. The box said it could make ice cream in 20-30 minutes. Sure. It did. Granted it wasn't hard ice cream like we like it but soft serve.
An afternoon in the deep freeze fixed that and last night we enjoyed bowls of fresh, home made, I know everything that's in it, ice cream. It was so good my eyes rolled back in my head and I heard angels singing. I would love to share pictures of the finished product with you but I couldn't put my spoon down long enough to snap the picture.
I also made pickles yesterday. Bread and Butter refrigerator pickles even. I used my Dad's recipe and it couldn't be easier. In fact, the hardest part of the recipe is finding pickling cucumbers. These babies are sweet and tart and crunchy. I've been known to sit down with a bowl of them and a fork and call it dinner. I ended up with six jars of them, five of which made the neighborhood rounds. The last one I'm cherishing like Grandma's china. The best part about this recipe is that you can just keep adding veggies to the brine so you never run out.
Here's the recipe:
Bread & Butter Fridge Pickles
About 1 gallon of pickling cucumbers
3-4 onions
1-2 green peppers (optional)
1/4 cup salt
4 cups sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 t turmeric
1 1/3 t celery seed
1 1/3 t mustard seed
Slice cucumbers, onions and peppers thick, but small enough to get out of the jar. Mix all other ingredients until dissolved. I did this in an old juice bottle and shook it until my left arm fell off. Put your veggies in a large airtight container, or in my case, several small ones. Pour the liquid over. Keep them in the fridge- always.
And no, there wasn't any specific reason I made pickles and ice cream.