Saturday, August 27, 2011

where are my people?

On the morning of earthquake day, I had a long conversation with one of my two bosses.  It started out as some sort of briefing, but somehow ended up being about of our frustrations with grown up life. (Note: she has way more ground to stand on, as she is married with kids, owns a home, and leads a large team of eccentric auditors.)  

But we both agreed that even though we had some suspicion that post-college life wouldn't be easy, we assumed we'd be compensated, at least in some small part, by the company we would keep.  We figured we'd find ourselves among smart, funny, successful, kind people, and that would dull the pain of mortgage (or rent) payments and the 9 to 5 grind.  

Instead, we have found ourselves consistently surprised by how unintelligent, disappointing, and/or hurtful people are.  Where in the world are my people? we want to know. Probably not in this office, we concluded. And then the earth rumbled. Big day, really, between existential crisis conversations and building evacuations. 

So when I got home from the earthquake, I decided to go ahead and make the jacked up cookies and cream ice cream, and realized that this is the kind of ice cream you make for your "people."

It's a labor of love, what with the sticky, messy affair of coating (football-shaped!) oreos in melted chocolate...

And letting vanilla bean pods steep in warm milk for an hour...

And then there's that whole egg yolk-cooking step that I have yet to execute gracefully (not to mention photograph successfully).  The dulce de leche-making step should go on behind the scenes of the rest of this, cooking up nicely in the oven while you melt chocolate and steep vanilla.  Unless you're me, and forget to cover the pan of sweetened condensed milk with foil.  And then you pull the oven open an hour later to find curdled sweetened condensed milk. After having had to smell and deal with that business, I'm here to tell you that stuff should be reserved for whatever the opposite of "your people" is.  

But even without the dulce de leche, it is divine...

I've made plenty of tasty ice cream with Fiona, but this was a new level of success.  This is the ice cream you make for the people who are there for you when those dumb/hurtful/disappointing people have you in a bit of a tizzy.  For the people who let you rant and rave and complain, even when they've heard it all before.  For the people who force you to eat even though you've stressed yourself out so much that you barely remember what an appetite feels like (and may have given yourself an ulcer...).  For the ones who remind you that you're actually very lucky after all.  Bless all of you, especially the ones who I haven't been able to give a container of jacked up cookies and cream yet.  

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