Monday, May 12, 2008

like to get to know you well

Today was supposed to be a productive day but it did not turn out to be.  Don't worry.  This isn't another one of those bummerific posts though.  Though I have been thinking about a lot of things, though I have cheerfully declared to my closest, oldest friend that I am a complete mess, I cannot say I have been particularly sad of late.

So, my plans for today were canceled, and the impatience in me welled up and got frustrated for a moment.  And then in the next moment, I got a bit of a twinkle in my eye, and got quite excited about freedom, sweet freedom.  Perhaps too sweet.  See, a few weeks ago, when the first hints of heat were starting to make themselves known, it dawned on me that my days of therapeutic baking were numbered.  Prior to that, about once a week, I baked something.  Once the heat started, I tried to stay upbeat- I made fudge, and marshmallow treats, things that required some heat, but not a full blazing oven.  But, as it turns out, fudge and rice krispies are not really therapeutic enough.  A process is important in these kinds of things.  Actually, who knows what is important in such matters- it's all arbitrary and illogical, this impulse to make/bake things when stressed.  But at any rate, the stovetop business was unsatisfactory.

Enter my new purchase, one Cuisinart ICE-20, bought thanks to some well-meaning coworkers who gave me a gift certificate last year that I never found use for until now.  I got the ice cream maker before finals, and it required so much restraint not to give it a go immediately that it was a true testament to my dedication to medical school.  Okay, not a great testament, as I did eagerly unpack the machine from the box and inspect it, contemplating what to make for a first run.

When trying something new, you don't want to go in with expectations that are too inflated.  And you don't want any pressure.  You want things to be relaxed, and you want to make things as easy for yourself as possible.  Make your goal too lofty and you could turn yourself off from something that really deserves a second chance.  It's like a first date, but with a positive attitude.

So, for my first date with my ice cream maker, I made Nutella ice cream.  Very simple really, and very low expectations- I have such a thing for Nutella that if it had just turned out Nutella-flavored milk, I would not have complained one bit.  But in fact, like fairy magic, a 30 minute run in the ice cream maker, and I have something that most people could be convinced was ice cream.  I was most worried it would turn out tasting like ice milk, which my mother used to buy on sale at the supermarket.  If you've ever had ice milk, you know what a disappointment it can be when you are expecting ice cream.  Because Nutella is probably 110% fat, there was no ice milk flavor whatsoever.  If I get my camera charged, I'll try to post a picture tomorrow, so you can inspect for yourself.

The funny thing is that I don't really eat ice cream.  Never really have enjoyed it.  I used to work at an ice cream shop as a teenager, and something about coming home with the smell of stale ice cream on my clothes cured me of any interest in the stuff.  Also, I'm pretty lactose intolerant, which means that eating more than a spoonful or two of ice cream comes with a rather unwelcome stomach ache.  But then there's always the matter of sorbets.  And it's summer, and hot, and more about the process anyway.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about my new fixation with cooking, how I cut my hair ultra-short this past weekend (!), and hopefully post a song for the week too.  Time to get all the habits back.

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