We all get so caught up in our daily routines, that we just forget how great the simple things in life can be. Everyday we get out of our beds, drag ourselves to the bathroom, jump with fright at the freak staring at us from the mirror. But we still wash that freak, until it resembles the person we once again recognize.
After that it's a dash against time, get the kid (or kids) dressed, make breakfast, eat a quick 10 minute bowl of muesli and guzzle down the pot of coffee that gives you the high to keep you going for most of the morning. Quickly discuss a few appointments with the partner, get into the car, drop off the kid, then hurry to work. Always the eye on the watch. Always against the time.
At work it goes on - meetings, appointments, discussions and deadlines. A short lunch break, a few laughs, another pot of coffee then it's back to fighting the ticking clock.
This, like probably most of yours, is how my day is in a nutshell. Although I am a person who is energetic and enjoys the fast pace, it is my son who shows me the lighter side of life. With him I learn to relax and come down - re-charge my batteries.
It has become my daily oasis. After I've picked up Soeren from school we spend part of the afternoon simply coming down from our highly strung day. A short trip in the park, a stroll by the river or an ice-cream in the lovely Weimar inner city, where, surrounded by ancient trees towering high above the boulevard bestowing a cool shade on hot, sunny days, we sit on the wooden bench slurping our ice-creams. A cool breeze sweeps past us, rustling Soeren's hair, who is elated by the music the street brass musicians are playing.
They are from St. Petersburg and come every summer to Weimar. They almost belong here just as Goethe belongs to Weimar. Their music style is everything from famous classical pieces to popular modern pop and both tourists and locals alike circle the 6 man band listening avidly to their repertoire.
We peel off our jackets and our bags, getting comfortable on the benches. The day begins to disintegrate away. I take a deep breath and slowly exhale, allowing the stress of the day to blow away with the breeze. My hand, which casually rests on Soeren's shoulder, takes in an important impulse. His shoulders begin to relax, telling me we have found our oasis for today.
Summer and ice-cream go hand in hand and I cannot even begin to count the gallons we eat during the summer. While I am an all-year-round ice-cream girl, in the summer time it simply tastes more delicious. Making your own ice-cream at home is not only a lot of fun but we can make exactly the flavor we are craving for. The mother in me is also satisfied as I know what goes into my ice-creams.
Summer allows a lot of room for experiments, with the huge selection of fruit and berries at the Farmer's Market, it won't surprise you that much of it makes it's way into our ice-cream maker. This time it was 500g of ripe, sweet organic strawberries. I experimented with crème fraîche for a delicate unique flavor and chopped fresh basil for a fantastic refreshing kick. An unforgettable ice-cream experience.
Printable version of recipe here.
500g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
250g crème fraîche
250g heavy cream
150g fine sugar
Handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
In a bowl toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Gently mix until the sugar dissolves. Set aside for about an hour, stirring regularly.
Place the strawberries and all of the accumulated liquid in a blender, along with all the other ingredients, except for the chopped basil, and pulse. Do not purée too long because you want the mixture to be chunky and have strawberry pieces in your ice-cream.
Pour into a bowl and refrigerate overnight, then prepare the ice-cream in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the chopped basil into the ice-cream once the mixture begins to thicken.
Finally transfer into clean plastic boxes and freeze for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with fresh strawberries.
- If you do not have an ice-cream maker, then after the mixture has been in the refrigerator overnight, pour into a deep plastic vessel and place in the freezer. After 30 - 45 minutes take out and whisk with an electric hand mixer. Place back into the freezer. Repeat this process several times - 3 to 4 - then allow to freeze until firm.
- You can use other herbs with this ice-cream. Substitute the basil with mint for example or try some rosemary.
- Other berries work with this too. Raspberries or blackberries make a wonderful tangy ice-cream and also pair very well with the crème fraîche.
- If this ice-cream is only for adults macerate the berries with vodka with the sugar for an hour.
Creamy and delicately tangy. The crème fraîche does the first little wonder with this ice-cream, giving it a super poignant note. The second little wonder comes from the chopped basil adding a wonderful refreshing aroma. Together with the strawberries it was one of our favorite ice-cream flavors this summer.
You might like these ice-cream ideas from WFLH:
From around the blogs:
- David Lebovitz's irresistible salted butter caramel ice cream
- The Perfect Pantry's exotic avocado coconut milk ice cream
- Culinary Concoctions by Peabody's fruity raspberry honey ice cream
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
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