We ate this ice cream late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, amidst some of the coldest temperatures Nashville has seen this year. I was just finishing my second (but not last) bowl as Parenthood ended, crying to Tim about something Crosby said to Julia and epiphanizing about how we all have these moments where we just need an encouraging word, and then the Nashville Evening News came on. We really never watch the nightly news, mostly because the beautiful flat-screen TV my brother gave us as a wedding gift for some reason only gets three or maybe four channels (thankfully one of those channels is NBC for Parenthood and another, public broadcasting for our weekly Downton Abbey fix) and so we don’t even bother turning it on unless we have a purpose. Accordingly, my reaction to what came next might have been overly sensitized, a little like that of a few generations before us the first time a motion picture hit the screen, but nonetheless, here it is:
There in the background of our conversation on friendships and vulnerability and love, I spotted our local weatherman on the TV screen, clad in a heavy parka, broadcasting live from an area gas station, the words “STATE OF EMERGENCY” printed on the bottom of the screen. As he reported on the 30-something-degree weather and the camera zoomed in on ice on a tree, cars sailed by on the highway behind him, no traffic or problems around. Schools were closing, mostly in anticipation of some morning ice, one right after another: This county’s closed! This one too! And there in our living room, an empty bowl of ice cream on the ottoman before me, thinking of how unexpected this seemed, I began to laugh.
I laughed for minutes straight. I laughed as I pushed Tim to turn back on the volume so we could listen to citizens being interviewed about wanting to rush back home. It wasn’t the fear of ice that tickled me (Lord knows, I have that, too) or the fact that respectable newspeople were giving us the play-by-play; it was the way this scene surprised me, the way it took me aback, such a contradiction not only to the way I grew up (so gipped on the snow-day front, 1990s Chicagoland children were) but also to the Tuesday night in Nashville I was currently a part of: my husband and me, cuddled up on the sofa in January, talking about heavy relationship things and eating bowls of cherry ice cream.
In other words, you could say, I reacted the same way many of you will when I tell you more about the cherry marquee ice cream in this post. It’s going to be a little unusual, potentially not the sort of thing 95% of you would try; it might even, if you’re a little like my dad while I was home over Christmas break, make you laugh. He’d walk into the kitchen while I was working and ask, “What are you making?” a smile already on his face. And it wouldn’t matter what I’d tell him in response: chocolate banana pudding cakes (from this brilliant book), soaked pizza dough, cherry chocolate chip cookies—every time, he would laugh, I suspect because he often wonders to himself what this daughter of his has gone and become.
New, surprising ideas do funny things to us: they can be scary or strange, jaw-dropping or ridiculous. Other times, they’re funny—Why not? Who couldn’t use a little more humor in their life.
So first, the name: cherry marquee. It points at the 1/2 cup organic dark cherries in the ingredients but not at some of the other, more important ones—like raw goat’s milk, for example, which has been our dairy of choice lately, partly because we have a great local provider and partly because it’s a little easier to digest and has protein sizes more similar to human milk. (As a bonus, it also doesn’t taste at all goaty like I expected.) You could easily swap this out with raw cow’s milk or organic whole cow’s milk or whatever milk you prefer.
Also, it’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of cane sugar; if you know Tim, you know how much he loves this. It contains a raw egg, which, as Tamar Adler says, is not something we’re concerned with since we know where our eggs come from, but if the idea makes you uncomfortable, no judgment here. Last but not least, it’s highly adaptable in terms of mix-ins: we’ve made it both with chopped chocolate and cherries and with coconut and walnuts.
The first time Tim made this was last summer, a more obviously appropriate time but not necessarily a better one. I mean, when I had my third (or fourth?) bowl on Wednesday, the only thing funny, at least if you ask me, was the thought of spending an entire winter boxed in to soups and stews and baked goods, without it or any other ice cream around.
Here’s my New Idea: Ice cream for everybody! Who’s in?
Cherry Marquee Ice Cream
Makes a little over a quart
As you may remember from earlier posts if not the hints in this above one, Tim is and always has been the ice cream maker in our house, so the below recipe is not only his, but also written in his words.
I love this man.
Scant 1 cup of organic, Grade B maple syrup (or sorghum syrup)
Approximately 5 ounces organic dark cherries
1 cup raw pastured goat milk + an additional 1-2 cups to make mixture 1 quart
1-2 teaspoons almond extract (depending on how much you like it)
1 pastured egg
– organic dark chocolate, chopped
– organic shredded coconut
– walnuts, chopped
– whatever floats your boat
I like this recipe because it is versatile and the syrup is mineral rich and provides a wonderful consistency that keeps the ice cream from becoming too hard when frozen. To start, it is best to have a blender that will finely incorporate the cherries and syrup together. Add the maple syrup to the blender with half of the cherries and 1/2 to 1 cup of the goat milk (whatever you need to ensure a good blend).
Blend on high until the cherries are completely broken down (a Vitamix really breaks them down well!). You may need to stop the blender and restart to ensure that the syrup, cherries and milk are well incorporated. Then add 1 pastured egg and almond extract, and fill the container with enough goat milk to make one whole quart of mixture. Blend on the lowest setting until fully incorporated.
Add mixture to ice cream maker and process according to your machine’s time frame. I usually add the mix-ins (including the other half of the cherries, chopped up) about 5 to 10 minutes before the ice cream is done.