Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ice cream and Roses

There are a wealth of things that bring a smile to my face, but two of the most comforting for me are Ice cream and a big bunch of old fashioned sweet smelling roses, instant Summer in a vase and tub. My roses have done particularly well this year, perhaps it's the rain or the severe pruning I gave them last Autumn! Thankfully they've provided me with bunches in vases for the last couple months and they're still blooming well and cheering up the passersby.


Ice cream, I can eat in any form and at any time; sundaes, cones, out of a tub. When I was a child a Sundae was the ultimate treat, a real indulgence and a reward for being a good girl. I challenge anyone anywhere in the world, not to be a lover of ice cream. I simply can't understand those that claim not to eat it. 


Ice cream recipes first appeared in 18th-century England and America. The first recipe for ice cream to be published was in 1718 in a recipe book Mrs.Mary Eales's Receipts, she was the Confectioner to her Majesty Queen Anne and here it is:
'Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten’d, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and 93 lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; then take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou’d freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Rasberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten’d; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.' (from Wikipedia)



For the last couple of nights my husband and I have regaled in Heston Blumenthal's Ice creams for Waitrose. I have to admit I rather feared the Savoury mustard flavour, so opted instead for the salted caramel popcorn and the chocolate and rosemary. Oh my goodness, both are quite extraordinary! My favourite was the chocolate. I don't normally enjoy chocolate ice cream, strange I know as I do love the stuff, think it's because of memories of cheap tubs of chocolate flavoured ice cream at parties when I was a child. I always did purport to have a rather sophisticated palette! Anyway, Heston's chocolate ice cream was velvety, not too sweet with a perfect hint of rosemary infusing the smooth richness of the dark chocolate. If you want to experience Blumenthal's rather unique take on ice cream, I urge you to rush down to your nearest Waitrose and buy buy buy - it's on a special offer at the moment too, £1.87 for a small tub of pure pleasure!