In doing research for an article I'm writing for Food For Thought, Foodtv's blog on Finding Great Ice Cream in Nova Scotia (I know...my life is hard!) I have become obsessed with having the perfect ginger ice cream.
Many years ago I had a flimsy ice cream maker that I saw advertised on TV and had to buy. It only got used a couple of times before I lost interest and then it sadly sat collecting dust on a back shelf until some moving day or other.
As a kid, growing up in the Montreal suburb of Ville St Laurent, my favorite summer treat was Pistachio ice cream at the now defunct St Aubin, where they made their own ice cream and had a huge variety to choose from. None of course could beat the pistachio. In fact, I've only ever found one place that makes a comparable one - Sweet Treasures in Lunenburg.
Moving to Toronto gave me a new passion...Italian gelatos and there are two places I've mentioned before....Hollywood Gelato and the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe for different variations of hazelnut gelatos. Both are divine and definitely on the list of places to eat at when we go back to visit family and friends.
Now that we're in Halifax, I've discovered another favorite flavor...ginger ice cream and it's not just found at some chi-chi cafe, it's available at many local ice cream parlours and even...convenience stores! I'm serious and it even made me consider buying a new ice cream maker. Okay, that was just for a moment before I came to my senses, but I did decide to try something easy that I could have in my own freezer for whenever the ginger urge hits.
So picture this...first trip to the grocery store since we moved in on Wednesday and I knew exactly what I wanted (in terms of ice cream, anyway) good vanilla ice cream, crystallized ginger, mini-chocolate chips and some thin oatmeal cookies...no way I could find my way to the oven to whip up a batch of my own ( I ended up with almond wafers) to make...
Carry up all the groceries (it's a third floor walk up) with my Honey, find my way around giant packing cartons, some empty...most not, trying to find a home for everything I bought and looking for a spatula and large metal bowl to soften the ice cream a bit before adding the ginger. Can't find the spatula so the back of a big spoon will have to do. But where's the ginger? After all, that's the main thing I went to the store to buy. Truth is, I never did find it and the ice cream wasn't just soft any more, it was almost liquid, so it went back in the fridge (not freezer) to harden a little and fortunately I did have some dried Bing cherries and the chocolate chips - another great combo that everyone seemed to enjoy.
The big learning...you can make your own ice cream in a flash just by adding whatever your favorite bits to whatever your favorite base...chunks of chocolate, mini-marshmallows, crumbled cookies, nuts, fruits....the list is endless. So anytime you're craving something unique, you can be a star and the ice cream is ready to serve within the hour.
Related links: Food and Drink Easy Cooking ice cream recipes dessert