We all scream for ice cream!
Summer was slow in coming, but there is no debating that it’s finally here. There are some beautiful (but hot and humid) summer days in Boston, but there are also a lot of overcast (but still hot and humid days), which are a little uninspiring. Either sort of day, though, is a great day for ice cream.
When we first met, C was a plain vanilla sort of guy. In fact, probably to this day he would say that Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla is his favorite ice cream flavor of all time. (Also, C microwaves ice cream before scooping so that it is soft. Is that weird or what?) I, on the otherhand, once interned at a design firm whose motto was, “Never Vanilla.” Although I’ll grant that Bryer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream is pretty good when topped with hot fudge.
Before leaving the Bay Area, we discovered the best ice cream in the world. Humphrey Slocombe is the place that convinced C that just maybe non-vanilla flavors of ice cream could be pretty good. Our favorite flavor at HS is Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with corn flakes), but other really wonderful flavors there include Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Cinnamon Brittle, Green Tea Black Sesame, and Balsamic Caramel. Plus there are lots of flavors that we missed out on (because they only serve a limited number of flavors at a time), not to mention the flavors that are interesting to taste, but perhaps a bit much for a full serving (e.g. Salt and Pepper and Boccalone Proscuitto). Also – their sundaes (Tin Roof and Hot Mess) are out-of-this-world delicious.
Here in Cambridge, people think they have great ice cream options, but none of the options quite live up to HS (though we still enjoy a trip to Toscanini’s
on occasion whenever I can convince C to take me there).
But we also have a handy-dandy Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker at home, and have been trying to put it to good use. And we have two pretty great ice cream cookbooks to boot:
Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
Flavors that we’ve tried at home before and really like: Vietnamese Coffee (from The Perfect Scoop, this is the easiest by far, so a big winner); Raisin and Oatmeal Praline (also from The Perfect Scoop), Pumpkin Oil Ice Cream (with Pepita Brittle); Anise Ice Cream (The Perfect Scoop); Tangerine Sorbet; Basil Lime Granita; Torrone Semifreddo.
Today, we’re trying Celery Ice Cream with Bourbon-plumped Raisins topped with candied peanuts (a la Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams). A sort of modern take on ants-on-a-log, I guess.
Other flavors we’re hoping to try before ice-cream season ends: blackberry cabernet granita, sweet basil and honeyed pine nut, backyard mint, and maybe if we’re brave, toasted rice ice cream with coconut and black tea (all from Jeni’s).