Summer Loving

Bart’s stepdad likes to tell a story about a cookbook he perused after his first wife died and he suddenly became responsible for cooking for himself and his two daughters. The cookbook was clearly made for those people who need directions to the kitchen itself and contained such hilarious instructions as “to crack an egg, make a cupping shape with hand. Invert hand. Cause hand to descend toward edge of bowl.” I think of this story, and of him laughing about it, nearly every time I open a cookbook, most of which assume I know how to crack an egg and also that I will know where to procure some completely obscure ingredient, mentioning it as offhandedly as if they were asking me to use flour.

My problem is less often a question of how to make something and more often a “where in the world would that item be located in my grocery store?” I have been dying to make hummus for a good long while but I simply could not find tahini anywhere. I went to two different stores and at both of them, the people I questioned about it stared at me for a long while, as if I’d asked them where I could find an invisibility cloak (ah-ha! You thought I might be done with Harry Potter mania. You would be wrong). Fortunately, thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I was able to google “HEB tahini” and lo and behold, there was a helpful page telling me that tahini could be found in the peanut butter section of HEB. And then, yesterday, I found it in the peanut butter section, right where it belonged (it was almost six dollars for a little jar which nearly gave me a heart attack, and I didn’t buy it; really, at this point, I just wanted to see if it did actually exist, but all those things are beside the point).

All of which to say, the Internet is my best friend when it comes to cooking. I haven’t really felt like cooking much lately, but in the last week, my spirits have been revived by this little gem: Coconut Cherry Frozen Yogurt. It was fantastic to be pulling out kitchen tools again, straining yogurt in the fridge with cheesecloth, and pitting and chopping cherries. I’d have taken my own picture for it, instead of sending you to see her pictures, but, alas. . . all of mine was gone within fourteen hours of emerging from the ice cream maker. It’s an excellent recipe because, not only was it a tasty finish to dinner, it could reasonably be considered breakfast food too, seeing as it’s mostly yogurt and coconut milk and fruit. I did decide to consider it breakfast and ate it at work on Thursday morning. It was lovely.
Now, I’m desperate to use my ice cream maker as much as possible. I’ve cleared out a little space in my freezer where it can live always so that, at any moment, it is ready to churn liquid into happiness. The possibilities that are before me are all so tempting and wonderful. Feast your eyes upon these:Salted Butter Caramel Ice CreamWatermelon SorbettoMint Ice CreamAnd don’t worry about me and my waist line. . . I went running last night, so I feel more than okay about ingesting gobs of homemade ice cream. I believe I burned an entire 145 calories last night. I’m fine.

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  • Reply chloe elizabeth July 27, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    You are too funny…this is one of my favorite recipes for sorbet. I like to substitute things as well, like strawberries.

  • Reply smarteze July 27, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    It’s so funny that you mention looking for tahini everywhere because I have been too! Walmart doesn’t carry it; Albertson’s hasn’t carried it for months. (I asked one of the workers there when they would get more in stock, and it took two or three of them to figure out what I was talking about. Despite their claims, they never did get it in stock, and now they don’t carry it.) I finally found it at Smith’s in the organic/health section. I didn’t think it would be that expensive, either. I haven’t tried any yet, though. It looks kind of scary.

    AND, we, too, are also in the market for an ice cream maker, and hopefully will buy one before August 8, when the container of heavy whipping cream in the fridge expires.

  • Reply Sherry July 27, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    I like how your “summer loving” involves ice cream and not your husband. Although, you probably share the ice cream with him. One day we’ll get an ice cream maker, and the world will be perfect in every way.

  • Reply Terri B. July 27, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    You’ve been tagged.

  • Reply Kristi July 28, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    I am especially excited about the mint one, as I have recently decided that mint is one of my favorite things. You are awesome for wanting to make hummus. I wouldn’t mnind trying it too, maybe we could split the cost of the bottle of stuff and have a hummus making party!

  • Reply Bethany July 28, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    It’s amazing what you can pass as breakfast foods. My mom often eats mixed veggies in the morning. That for me is crossing the line, but I eat pizza and leftovers for breakfast.
    My husband cannot eat anything until he has had a “breakfast food.” On fast Sunday I will make this huge amazing dinner and he has an appitizer of cold cereal before he will dig in. Weirdo.

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