Ice Cream and Souffle: Use up all the Eggs Part 1

I have a bit of an obsession with ice cream making. It is relatively simple and quick to prepare, allows you to experiment with flavors that are not commercially available, and it tastes divine. We also recently discovered that our daughter is allergic to peanuts, so in the interest of allowing her to experience the culinary joys that my husband enjoyed during our childhood, I had to build some kitchen creations.

I decided to make an ice cream with candy nubs in it. My particular favorite candies are peanut butter cups. Modifying the ingredients from this recipe by using sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter and coconut oil instead of shortening (just b/c we don’t have shortening in our house), we had a fun family afternoon of candy making. We made small SunButter  balls and dipped them into the melted chocolate and oil blend and cooled them in the refrigerator. When we make these again, we will drastically reduce the amount of oil in the chocolate; in the ice cream, the texture is fine, but when the SunButter balls are eaten out of the refrigerator, the chocolate begins to melt very quickly.

We froze about half the candies so that they could be added to the ice cream. Now comes the really fun part, choosing the ice cream flavor to mix with the candy. I was thinking chocolate or vanilla, but my husband wanted a tiny bit more adventure and suggested butterscotch. Never being one to turn down butterscotch or caramel, I accepted his suggestion.

In my butterscotch research,  (yes, I did just say “butterscotch research,”) I learned that butterscotch is just a caramel sauce made with brown sugar instead of white sugar. Also, despite the scotch in its name, it traditionally contains no alcohol.  Something I never learned in school, scotch means not only a type of alcohol and the people of Scotland, but it also means “to cut or score.” Really, Scotch tape should have clued me in years ago, but the packaging does have that Tartan pattern on it, so I just assumed that it was the national adhesive of Scotland. So, true butterscotch is made and then poured hot. The hot candy is then scored (or scotched) so that it can be easily broken apart once it has cooled and hardened.

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Butterscotch Ice Cream with SunButter candy

(makes about 1-1/2 qts)

1 c dark brown sugar, solidly packed

3 T unsalted butter

1/2 t coarse sea salt (I used Fleur de Sel)

1-1/2 c heavy cream

1 c half and half

1/2 c 1% milk

4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, beaten

1 t vanilla extract

1-1/2 T Butterscotch Schnapps (30 proof)

1 T vanilla vodka (70 proof)

In a heavy bottomed 2 qt saucepan, melt the butter almost completely over medium heat. Mix the brown sugar into the butter with a wooden spoon until the sugar is coated with butter. Stirring about once a minute, wait for the mixture to stop looking gritty and become smooth and glossy. Pour the heavy cream and salt over the sugar mix being careful to avoid splattering and stir to combine. The butterscotch will harden with the addition of the cream, but it will re-melt as the cream heats and the mix is stirred. While the cream and butterscotch heat, prepare an ice bath and place a metal bowl inside. Fill it with the half and half and milk.

When the butterscotch mix is quite hot (but not boiling), ladle a bit of it at a time into the beaten eggs until they are warm, stirring constantly. Pour the warmed eggs into the butterscotch mix and stir continuously until the mix reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from heat immediately and stir it into the milk that has been resting in the ice bath (If you keep a close eye on the temperature of the heating eggs, you don’t need to strain the butterscotch into the ice bath mixture). Stir continuously until the mixture is cool. Add the vanilla extract and alcohols to the cool mixture. Refrigerate for several hours, ideally overnight and then prepare following your ice cream maker’s instructions. Once the ice cream is almost completely set, pour the candies into the ice cream maker. Enjoy a small amount as a reward for your work and freeze the rest.

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Many homemade ice creams are hard and need to sit on the counter before being scooped. This recipe sets up very nicely, a perfect texture and can be scooped right out of the freezer. The little bit of salt, the high amount of sugar and the alcohol all help to soften the ice cream. The butterscotch flavor is amazing, but we decided that the candies are too potent for this particular ice cream. They don’t taste bad in it at all, they just take over the flavor. Next time it will be one batch candy free butterscotch ice cream and another batch of chocolate ice cream with SunButter candy.

When I began writing this post, I planned to discuss using all the eggs between ice cream and souffle, but I think that the souffle needs to wait for another post. I don’t have the ambition to write about it at this very moment . . . that is not to say that making a souffle is tedious; I will discuss that misconception in my next post.  So, I used 4 egg yolks in that ice cream recipe. That means that there are 4 egg whites waiting and very lonely in the refrigerator. . . Did I mention that I made a different batch of ice cream (peach with ginger snaps) last week and there are 4 more egg whites in the freezer? No? Well I did. All 4 of the egg whites in the freezer and the other 4 in the refrigerator are lonely. They want to be combined with cheese and broccoli, so I’ll let them do that and discuss it next time.

Nouveau Fiber Arts

Check out this awesome art batt giveaway. Beautiful stuff.

Finishing an unfinished Minstrel

 

My (almost) finished Minstrel

My (almost) finished Minstrel

I haven’t posted in a very long time b/c life is too crazy for me to keep up on all this, but I had a couple of pics to share with my friends in the Kromski Spinning Wheel Owners group on Ravelry. I bought an unfinished Kromski Minstrel and planned to stain it cherry with some stenciled staining on the treadles and wheel in dark walnut gel stain, finished off with a rub-on polyeurethane. However, Carol (Doowicky) informed me of a wonderful product, Briwax, which is a blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and toluene that is available in tinted varieties. Using Briwax, the finishing of my Minstrel went from an at least week long project to one labor-intensive day project. 

A little explanation of the stenciled staining:  I wanted to represent both of my grandmothers with the stained treadles. I knew from the start that I wanted a peony on one treadle to represent my father’s mother. My mother’s mother was a harder nut to crack. I finally came up with perfection. When my grandmother had passed away, she left me one of her Doulton Ladies, Southern Belle. I was looking at the figurine the other night and decided to copy the shoe for the other treadle. My grandmother had written some of her remembrances down for us to have after she passed away. She told a story of me as a baby being discovered playing with a mess in my diaper. At this point in her story, she addressed me saying, “Don’t feel bad about this; when I was a little girl, I pooped in my dad’s shoe.” I think its kind of funny that that was the last thing that my grandma ever said to me, so it had to be a shoe.

I planned to stencil these images in walnut, but was concerned that the stain would bleed underneath the stencil, so instead I drew the images on the wood and used Elmer’s glue to protect the wood that was not to receive walnut stain. The next day, using a damp rag, I cleaned off the glue. It worked fairly well, except you can see some staining from the glue around the shoe. 

Using Briwax in Dark Brown, I applied the wax using 0000 steel wool to all raw wood and polished it off with t-shirt material. I used a toothbrush to get into the crevices. Before I learned of Briwax, I had stained the whorls, bobbins, and orifice hook in cherry, so I applied the Briwax to these items using t-shirt material and did the same for the treadles. I had used a pre-stain wood conditioner on the treadles before the stenciled staining and that seems to have made the Briwax go on slightly unevenly there, but I am still happy with the results. I have not applied the Briwax to the walnut stained teardrops on the spokes of the wheel yet b/c I want the stain to set in the wood first, but it helps to show the effects of the Dark Brown Briwax pretty well by comparison. I also have included a photo of the flyer and bobbin b/c the bobbin was stained with cherry and finished with the Briwax, but the flyer was only coated with Briwax. You notice a bit of variation between the two, but its not overwhelming.

These pictures on my monitor look a little bit reddish, but there is really no red in the Briwax finish (the pieces with cherrry stain do have a slight reddish tinge). Other than that, I think that the finish was adequately captured in these pictures. That said, it is prettier in person. I hope you like it and that you may consider using Briwax if you have a wheel that needs finishing; it really was a pleasure to work with. 

PS:  That overly twisted yarn on the bobbin, some of that was my doing, but my husband couldn’t resist trying his hand too, so the REALLY twisted bits are his.

 

finished treadles

finished treadles

 

 

glue shoe 

glue shoe

glue peony 

glue peony

 

wheel with some unfinished wood

wheel with some unfinished wood

wood variation

wood variation

cherry stained bobbin, unstained flyer

cherry stained bobbin, unstained flyer

more wood variation, love this bit

more wood variation, love this bit

Living Green contest

I’ve mentioned before some of the ways that my family is trying to live greener. Over at orchidknits.blogspot.com, there is a contest for the most unique use of reusable dishcloths. Act fast because the contest ends tomorrow. Its always great when I try to think of ways to use less and do my part.

If I had all the time in the world

I have found some wonderful crafts, but I haven’t the time to make them. You might notice that I barely have time to update my blog. I think its been about a month! In my imaginings, I knit some wonderful things, beautiful sweaters for all my friends and family, dresses and hats for my girl, sweaters and socks for me . . . but then there are the non-knitted items that I would love to make, but I can’t find the time, handmade soap (I have made some lovely soaps in the past), wonderful sewed bags to carry my knitting, a pillowcase dress, and cute, new fitted diapers for my girl. Maybe you could be inspired to make some of these items and I could live vicariously through your craft. Here are some of the beauties:

Wonderful Soap recipes Unfortunately, I had a great source for soap-making materials, but I just found out that the owner is closing up shop. I was always thrilled with her service and quick delivery. It makes me wonder, if “A Garden Eastward” can’t make it, how do some of these other companies stay in business? Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent.

Sock knitting Bag This looks so adorable and practical.

Bagsket knitting Bag This could very well be the most beautiful knitting bag I’ve ever seen. I think that if I had one, my couch would no longer be covered with my knitting projects.

Pillowcase Dress My girl is gorgeous (I know, I’m a little biased), but she would be even more beautiful in a dress like that. So pretty!

Fitted Diapers With my very active little girl, its hard enough to just get a diaper on her, much less be able to make a new diaper for her. I am in awe of WAHM’s who can do it.

Well, I hope this piqued your interest in one of these crafts . . . please don’t let me dream in vain. On another subject, I have completed the pattern for the Alyson tank/dress. I have been waiting for my husband to help me correct an error on the lace pattern. I’ll get on his back about it.

Reusable Swiffer covers



Needle: US size 6/4mm
Yarn: Peaches & Creme (Shrimp, Peacock, Teal, celery, etc.)

First of all, we have lots of wood and pergo floors in our new house. Secondly, I, like many people these days, am trying to cut down on the amount of garbage I add to the environment. These situations led me to discover this pattern. I approached it with a little apprehension. The swiffer covers that I buy in the store are “elecrostatically charged,” so I envisioned just pushing the dirt around while using my handknit swiffer covers. Nope; these things are great. I am so happy with them. The dirt and cat fur stick to the cover as well as it would stick to the electrostatically charged disposable covers. Yay!!

As an added bonus, one has to be careful when cleaning wood floors not to get them overly wet. I wet one of my knitted covers and squeeze it out well. Voila, it is the perfect dampness to clean a wood floor. Love, love love.

Its amazing that any of us survive

The world looks very different through my eyes as a parent than it did when I didn’t have another little life to care for. I was walking around our back yard last week and and was struck by fear at the sight of little mushrooms everywhere. My girl loves putting everything in her mouth at this point of her life. I thought about trying to protect her from the danger of what is in all likelihood many dangerous objects in our yard. I did some research and found that it is virtually impossible to remove the fungi and that I just have to follow my girl even more closely when she is outdoors. I also learned that some mushrooms that are considered safe for me could be poisonous to young children. Hmm, never realized that.

Just the other day, we were visiting my in-laws and enjoying some cherries off the tree. My 4 year old nephew was being scolded to stay away from the little berry bush and its unsafe fruit. One of the other little boys spouting his knowledge of the subject to my brother-in-law, “The birds can eat the berries and they are fine . . .” This reminded me of my childhood:  I was outside of our church and my mom was inside. We had raspberry bushes at my house, so when I saw a tree with little red berries, I decided to have a few. I was sick to my stomach for the rest of the day. And I think that I was old enough that I should have known better.

I guess that inside of the house is the only safe place . . . not quite. My husband had guests over the other day. They all removed their shoes before entering, yet I found 2 tiny shards of glass on the rug in the family room and one in the kitchen. It is nerve-wracking. I sometimes feel like a crazy mom, trying to protect my baby from all the dangers of the world, but I guess that to some degree being a mom requires a little bit of craziness.

Alyson Sunhat

This little sun hat was designed for my best friend’s new baby girl. While this hat is not pink, it is very girly with lace and floral ribbon. The eyelets on the crown add a bit more femininity, but also help to keep baby’s head cooler. The hat has only been knit in the smallest and the 6-12 month sizes, so if you make a different size, please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. This is my first pattern. I hope that you like it.

Size

0-3 months (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months)

Finished measurements

Head circumference: 15 (16.25, 17.5, 18.75) inches

Materials

Lily Sugar’n Cream Confectionary Colors (100% cotton; 710 yds per 400g skein). color: Pistachio. 1 skein for all sizes with tons left over. Note: This yarn shrinks after a trip through the dryer. The pattern is designed a bit long to allow for machine drying.

Rose Garland Ribbon 16 (17, 18.5, 19.5 ) inches. (My ribbon was found at Michael’s, but you can also find it here)

1 16 inch US 6/4mm circular needle

1 set US 6/4mm double pointed needles

6 stitch markers

tapestry needle

Guage:

20 sts/22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch.

Stitch definition:

SK2togPSSO: Slip the next st on the needle purlwise. Knit 2 sts together. Pass the slipped stitch over.

Error: In row 5 of the chart, after the first YO, K2tog (not K1 as indicated on the chart). I will update the chart when I get a chance.

Brim: CO 108 (120, 126, 135). Place marker. Join work and Row 1: K around. Row 2: P around. Rows 3 & 4: K around. Begin working the chart. *Work odd rows of the chart, K 1 (1, 3, 4) repeat from * around. Even rows of chart: K all sts. After completing one repeat of the chart, K around until work measures 2.5 (2.5, 2.75, 3) inches.

Hat body: K one round dec evenly by 0 (3, 0, 0) sts. Next round, *K3tog, YO, K3tog, YO, K3tog repeat from *. 60 (65, 70, 75) sts remain. K evenly for 1.0 (1.0, 1.25, 1.25) inches.

Crown: K 9 (10, 11, 12) SK2togPSSO, YO Place marker 5 times.

Row A: K all sts

Row B: *K to 3 sts before the marker. SK2togPSSO, YO. Repeat from * around.

Repeat Rows A & B until 3 sts remain between st markers. Next row, K all. The next row, SK2togPSSO around. 5 sts remain. Cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining sts. Pull the yarn tight and make a small knot.

Finishing

Weave in all ends. Lace the Rose Garland ribbon through the eyelets at the base of the hat body making sure that the ribbon is very slightly loose. Cut the ribbon to the correct length and tie the ends together on the underside of the hat. Alternatively, machine sew the ribbon ends onto the inside of the hat, with the ends of the ribbon separated by about 0.75 inches. Block the hat to size.

The patterns for the shorts and tank top will follow shortly.

Been a while

In case you’ve missed me, sorry I haven’t updated in a while. Like I said before, we moved into our house. Its still a disaster, but its slowly coming together. There was also some wonderful news: my best friend had a baby girl and her arrival inspired some of my best knitting design. I’ll be sharing that with you in a short while. We also experienced a loss in my family. Finally, I must still plan my sister Lauri’s bridal shower, so life is a little hectic, but I’ll try to be better about updating here. I hope to share those knitting patterns soon. Until then, I work, plan, knit, do math, and must cook dinner for my family.

New socks for a new home (AKA, Happy Hedera)

Pattern: Hedera

Needle: US 1/2.25 mm

Size: Small enough to fit my feet

Modifications: 10 repeats of the lace on the leg. 13 repeats on the heel flap.

Well, it is much more satisfying to knit these socks when I can actually wear the finished product. I love them. I will also always know that they are the socks that I was wearing the day that I became a homeowner. Don’t they look nice on the pretty wood floor of the kitchen?

All right, enough about my gorgeous socks . . . on to the gorgeous house. The basics: it is brick, built in the late 1800′s, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closet in master br, 2 baths with basin sinks, a sun porch,  wood-burning stove, deck with fountain and jacuzzi, and a finished attic. There is also beautiful carved wood and decorative doorknobs.

We’ve already experienced some of the negatives of home ownership. The previous owner kinked the gas line to the dryer when she was moving, so my husband spent most of today installing a new gas line. The sink and toilet in the downstairs bathroom have to be tightened in the near future, but there are positives too. I had been talking to my husband about plants. I wanted to plant irises, a lilac bush, and peonies. Yesterday, as we walked around the house, I saw those beautiful pink balls, the buds which burst into peonies. I squealed with delight. I also noticed irises in the front of the house. That only leaves the lilac bush, but I can survive without it for a little while. This year’s blooming season is over anyhow.

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