I find preparing and cooking food extremely relaxing and therapeutic. Yesterday, distressed almost beyond measure by Jumble’s decline, I put aside all thinking, writing and reading activities, slipped into the kitchen and embarked upon a marathon of almost mindless chopping, dicing, frying, whipping, bain-marie-ing and, in general, preparing a plethora of provender!
I adore the rich colours of vegetables, so, for me, creating a toothsome Ratatouille is a pleasure both sensual and intensely visual: I feast both eyes and tongue as I peer at the yellows, oranges and bright reds of sweet peppers; savour the soft dark purples of aubergines and the gingery-red of carrots; as I slice the earthy green tones of courgettes and delight in the pungent sweet globes of vine-ripened tomatoes.
This done, and red peppers marinading in olive oil consigned to the heat of the oven, I turned, as you do, to dessert. Always, for those who know me, a favourite! I have had cause to mention before my sudden rediscovery of my maternal parent’s recipe for ice-cream and my gannet-esque adaptation of same. Yesterday, however, I went over the top even by my, admittedly high, standards…
Warning: If you lack a sweet tooth, you may wish to give this next bit a miss, as I shall be disgustingly graphic! Yum yum!
So, little pots at the ready (the four shown above are but a small selection of my Ice-Cream Container Armoury), I began: Crushed a load of raspberries and added icing sugar to them; melted Lindt chocolate in my own version of the bain-marie (bowl in saucepan of heating water, basically); whipped Evaporated Milk until stiff, then added Condensed Milk (the latter with many a trip to my own mouth, as I love the stuff with an unholy passion!); divided the creamy glop into two jugs; added the raspberry mix to one and the fragrant-smelling liquid chocolate to the other; whisked both to a frenzy and then, finally, poured gorgeous portions of each into the small containers I had standing ready.
The chocolate petered out first, and the final portion was but a mini half a container’s worth. Barely worth keeping really, and certainly a flagrant insult to any guest – so, Old Gut Bucket here shoved it, with its larger brethren, in the freezer and, not to put too fine a point upon it, ate it as soon as it was hard enough!
By Goddess, it was good!
I have visitors coming this weekend – and they will be offered their choice of ice-cream, lucky buggers!
So there you have it: A Portion of Home-Made Ice-Cream a day keeps the Strait-Jacket away…