Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Rambles and an ice cream recipe (sort of)

So the kids and I were walking back home from feeding the ducks, and this very large dog bounds out of one of the breezeways. We happened to be back far enough that I just turned the kids around and we went a different way. But who lets their ginormous dog out without a leash??? You know what? I don't even care how big or small the dog is, dog owners, please, USE A FREAKING LEASH. I don't know your dog, your dog doesn't know my children, and I don't care how mellow you think your dog is or nice or whatever. Letting a dog run loose is just an accident waiting to happen, either for unsuspecting young children (or their mothers) or the dog. Gah. And while we're at it, pick up your dog's poop too. It's disgusting how many people around here don't.

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure all my readers are very responsible dog owners. :)

Aside from the dog incident, it's been a very good and very busy day so far. We managed to get to the farmer's market and back before it got too hot (it's 97 now, if you were wondering). I spent the rest of the morning in the kitchen. After being right on the edge of buying canning supplies, we decided to use the dehydrater we have and maybe try canning next season. So I can ask for the canning stuff for Christmas (hint hint). Yay! I got the dehydrator out and I think it's going to be just as useful.

Here's what I have going on in my kitchen today:

blueberries, a peach (as an experiement), and peach fruit leather are in the dehydrator
I used part of the peach fruit leather mixture to make some peach popsicles.
I took the rest of the peach fruit leather mixture and used it in ice cream (more on that in a moment)
two batches of "cheater" maple syrup were made
one jar of iced tea in the fridge
pancakes for lunch

Ice cream is something that I don't have very often. The vegan ice creams in the store either taste bad, are expensive, or both. Coconut Dream, my favorite, runs about $5 for a little bucket. A pint? It's not much ice cream, and it irritates me to buy it when I can make the same amount of ice cream for less than $3. When I really want ice cream, I make it. It's probably for the best that I do this, since ice cream should be more of a once in a while treat, right?

Anyway, here's how I did it. I used leftovers from peach fruit leather mixture, which was basically a bunch of peaches in a pan along with a little water, a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup here), and a splash of lemon juice. After I cooked it down a bit over the stove, I pureed it in my handy Vitamix. Dump some in your dehydrator and when you run out of room, make some popsicles. What you have left makes great ice cream!

Leave the leftover peach puree (probably about a cup, so if you don't want to make all that other stuff, just cook 2 or 3 peaches) in the blender. Add a can of coconut milk (light, heavy, whatever) and sweetener of your choice to taste. Give it a blend to combine. Taste and sweeten more if needed. Get your ice cream maker off the top shelf of your cupboards, wipe it down because it hasn't been used in months, and set it up. Turn it on, then pour your peach mixture into it. Let it do its thing for a while, checking now and then to see how it's freezing up.

When the mixture starts to thicken, drop some blueberries in there if you'd like. When it's frozen enough, dump the mixture into some containers and freeze.

That's pretty much it. I'm not sure how you'd do this without an ice cream maker. You could freeze the mixture without it, but I don't think it would be as smooth as when it's processed with the ice cream maker. It's a fun kitchen gadget to have.

What will I do the rest of the day? I have a hooded sweatshirt (with short that weird?) cut out and ready to sew. There was a request for bread. I'm sure someone will want to go swimming at some point today.

Sunday it sounds like a canoe trip is in order. Yes, we still have the canoe. Sometimes we store it in the breezeway even though you're not really supposed to do that, and sometimes it lives on the top of the car. I'm not sure how long the canoe shuffle will last. We shall see.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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