Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a salty weekend

Like any true type A girl, I have a running list of projects I want to tackle.  It is sometimes in my mind, sometimes on a piece of paper I inevitably lose, sometimes on my blackberry.  This past weekend, in between various social stuff, I decided to take on two of the long-standing items: hangers and salted caramel ice cream.

Re: hangers... I decided a while back that I wanted my hangers to be consistent in my closets.  A luxury, sure, but I had a little wiggle room in my budget last month, so I went for it.  And last weekend, I decided it was time to take the matching black hangers out of their many boxes and get cracking.  Which led to my living room looking like this:

As if whipping my wardrobe in to some level of submission wasn't tiring enough, I also took on the ice cream.  I've made ice cream with Fiona before, but this would be my first attempt at an egg yolk-based recipe.  It also would involve making caramel.  Eeek. 

To tackle the project, I consulted this salted caramel ice cream recipe from Epicurious (typically one of my top go-to recipe sites).  I really wish recipes were better about indicating time requirements.

Still being a total novice in the kitchen, I don't have a good grasp on things like how long it takes sugar to become caramel (not long).  Or when to stop cooking the sugar (um, still unsure).  Or how long the milk will take to dissolve the caramel (a lifetime). Or the appropriate length of time to cook the eggs in the milk to avoid both salmonella and scrambled eggs (a heck of a lot less time than you'd think).

So I heated...

And swirled...

And dissolved...

And strained...

And got (amazing) ice cream!

Note that there are no pictures of the whole egg-cooking adventures.  Let's just say it's a two-hand process that does not lend itself well to photography or any other distractions.  It was a little stressful navigating the recipe for the first time, but, the result is so sinful, I can't even explain it.  Luckily it's beyond rich, so I only eat a few spoon fulls at a time, but it's just as dangerous as the chocolate ice cream with mint chocolate cookies.  

Now that those two things have been crossed off the list, I've got my sights on other projects (including new ice cream flavors, and much less thrilling things like 401(k) rollovers).  Exciting times, I know.

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