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It hasn’t been summer in Colorado Springs until the past couple of days.  In fact, we’ve been wet and cool with little need for sandals (boo hoo), short sleeves or air conditioning.  Vegetables plantings have washed away and flower pots have been flooded, poured out, and replanted, only to start that entire cycle again the next day.  Neighbors have water in their basements for the first time in memory.  Living in a place where fire is a typical weather condition possibility many months a year, we don’t complain about rain. Ever. (But…)
IMG_7671As as cook who adores seasonal preparations, I really have been yearning for frozen margaritas, fajitas on the grill, plain ol’ burgers and dogs, and so on.   Until last weekend, summer’s been pretty much miss and very little hit.  And then it began to look like this around here:

IMG_2576After a nutty week of Dave traveling for work in Mexico, Miss Bo-Bo (Rosie) being horrifically ill and isolated with several upper-respiratory infections, me with multiple-cooking away-from-home jobs,

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above:  Summer Soups! Cool Soups for Hot Nights! class at Mountain High Appliance. Love these ladies adoring these fast and simple soups.

and a broken brand-new air conditioning unit, I was thrilled beyond belief for Father’s Day to arrive and have the chance to participate in a laid back slo-mo summer grilling and cooking afternoon.

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above:  Dave very intent on ferrying food to the table. Note my cool wi-fi speaker–a gift from son Sean.

Dave spent the whole afternoon cooking his ribs (a pig’s ribs, not actually his own), I made a big bowl of cole slaw and and even bigger bowl of STRAWBERRY-AMARETTO ICE CREAM.  Tucker and Miss Bo-Bo each had half the house due to Bo-Bo’s illness-isolation needs.

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above:  Miss Bo-Bo (aka Rosie) feeling better and Tucker on Aunt Helen’s lap last weekend. Yes, he thinks he’s a Yorkshire Terrier.

Everyone kicked back and watched an episode of Foyle’s War on NETFLIX that night–full and content.  Sigh. It was finally here — summer!

If you’re looking to eat and drink out of the same bowl — I’m talking alcohol here — this is your day.  When we lived in Germany, alcoholic ice cream was available nearly everywhere and it was so luscious; I had nearly forgotten all about it. One of my favorite preparations was Spaghettieis, which looked just like spaghetti and sauce.   And while my strawberry-amaretto is nothing like that on a visual level (tastes as good, though) if you need a 4th of July dessert, I can’t think of anything better.  The recipe will double easily for a big gallon freezer (serves 30 3-ounce servings or 15 6-ouncers!) and if you top it with blueberries and whipped cream, you’ll have the perquisite red, white and blue dessert.  Try this:IMG_7678

STRAWBERRY-AMARETTO ICE CREAM

MAKES 2 QUARTS   (8  1-cup servings)

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely pureed fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto (added once ice cream mixure is in machine)

*In a medium bowl, stir together lemon juice – vanilla extract (everything but the Amaretto); mix well. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until very cold; overnight is fine.  Follow your ice cream machine’s instructions for freezing and storing. Mine is a 2-quart quart Cuisinart machine, so I followed this route:

*With a Cuisinart ice cream bowl that has been in the 0 degree freezer+ for at least 24 hours inserted into the machine with the paddle, I put the lid on, turned on the machine, and slowly poured in the chilled strawberry mixture through the opening in the lid. When all of the mixture was in the freezer, I poured in the amaretto and let the ice cream freeze for about 25 minutes or until it was quite thick. The ice cream was then frozen enough to eat like soft-serve, which is exactly as I want it.

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*If you like a more solid consistency, you can remove the ice cream from the freezing bowl using only a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and spoon it into a freezer-safe container with a  tight cover.  Place in freezer for another hour or two or until the ice cream is about as firm as you’d like it.  Eat within a few days for best quality, though it will keep a month or so at 0 degrees F.

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+IMPORTANT:   Your ice cream may not freeze if the bowl has not been in a 0-degree freezer or if the ice cream mixture isn’t cold enough.  Take your freezer’s temperature if you don’t have a built-in freezer thermometer.

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Sing a new song as you (please) pray for the loved ones of the faithful folk massacred this week. Pray also for peace in our land:

Clockwise, from top left: Susie Jackson; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton; DePayne Doctor; Ethel Lance; Daniel Simmons Sr.; Clementa Pinckney; Cynthia Hurd; Tywanza Sanders. (Photo collage from the June 20 issue of The NY Times; courtesy Parker Palmer/fb)

Parker J. Palmer's photo.
Alyce