Summer is the ice cream season and yet I didn’t put up any posts. That’s in part because I was busy making some old favorites as flavors and in part because my writing was mostly taking the form of academic writing. Not nearly as fun as ice cream.
Figs are still in season and this is an old favorite of mine. When I lived in California two of my closest friends, a married couple, had neighbors whose fig tree was heavy with fruit. They gave me some delicious figs that I added to a goat cheese base for the most Bay Area flavor imaginable (it’s also reminiscent of an earlier flavor I did, but with a different method). The figs I get here in the Midwest aren’t as great as those were, but every time I have one I think of the Francises and their generosity.
This was the original California version.
Summer is not yet over (at least not here in the Midwest, where it’s supposed to hit 90 degrees for a couple of days). I firmly believe there’s still time to enjoy what’s left of the season. In particular, summer fruit — while rhubarb is a distant memory, we still have peaches. For now.
I’m currently staying with friends and as a result we’re all going through baskets at breakneck speed. I figured a pairing with pepper would add some sharpness, which you can dial back if you like. A variety of peppers increases the complexity, but you don’t need to use all four types — just aim to have about a teaspoon total.
My favorite part is the tingling aftertaste.
My father dislikes yogurt — a somewhat unusual anti-preference for an Indian. Allegedly it stems from childhood, but as a result he never eats it.
I was at home last weekend and my mother, who has long been disappointed that she rarely gets to enjoy my ice cream, asked me to make some. My parents are mango fiends, so much so that they have a container of pre-cut mango sitting in the fridge — because the idea of having to wait two minutes while you peel and cut a whole one is obviously horrifying. So I suggested making mango lassi ice cream, based on the classic Indian drink of pureed mango, yogurt, and a touch of sugar.
“But your father doesn’t eat yogurt,” my mother pointed out.
“Don’t tell him it’s lassi, just say it’s mango ice cream. He’ll never figure it out,” I replied.
And he didn’t. In fact, he liked it so much he went back for seconds.
Mango [lassi] ice cream
I first started making ice cream, as mentioned previously, by following the recipes in The Perfect Scoop and the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book towards the end of my law school years. And so I was blithely content to merely reproduce other people’s recipes until, about a year after I graduated and was living in D.C., a friend asked me to come up with my own flavor.
The first GH flavor.
Scott once made the mistake of telling me that as a kid he was nicknamed Scooter, and because, like Dubya, I love nicknaming my friends, I have referred to him as Scooter ever since. He suggested I try my own flavor, and I asked him what he wanted. “I don’t know, goat cheese and some kind of fruit?” And thus the first flavor was born. Thanks brah. I wouldn’t have done it without you.
I’ve become more adept at doing the swirl these days.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day for all the typical reasons, but my friend Catherine (aka Kitty B) suggested a flavor that sounded very promising: rosewater and raspberry. Perfect for the holiday that we all love to hate. With the Middle Eastern element of rosewater I decided to toss in some chopped toasted pistachios, because why not?
This is a very simple, yet elegant sorbet that you can do a lot of different things with (different berries, flavors, or nuts being the most obvious modifications). Rosewater can be found at specialty stores pretty easily, and a little goes a long way — if you find it too fragrant, you can dial it back to two teaspoons.
I’ve long been a fan of Tim Mazurek’s blog Lottie + Doof, which is a very thoughtful series on food, culture, and how we talk about eating in the U.S. His style was in some ways an inspiration for my own tone here, and I frequently make his recipes (in particular, the ginger beer, which is a staple in my refrigerator). He also has a great eye, as demonstrated by Lottie + Doof’s photography, and the black bowls pictured below were recommended by him in a gift guide.
Raw ingredients in goth bowls
My mom’s reaction to my giving her the credit for my interest in cooking was typical for our family (“Why did you say I was the reason?!”). In our family we’re not great at compliments. As I told her, “You know, some parents would be happy about their children given them credit, even if it wasn’t deserved.”
I spent four years in grad school in Ann Arbor (#goblue) and one of my favorite spots to hang out was Zingerman’s — the famous deli, specialty food store, and café. I spent many hours there studying intellectual property and technology policy. One of my favorite Zingerman’s traditions is that many of their sandwiches are named after different people — something I’m going to adopt here.