That’s right. You heard me. I said Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Who knew? I’ll tell you who: Jeni Britton Bauer.
I was in Williams-Sonoma one day and I say her book: Jenis Splendid Ice Creams At Home. (I must derail momentarily and point out that it should be Jeni’s!) Anyway, of course it caught my eye in the store. I flipped through it quickly and left it on the shelf. That was an exercise of great restraint for me. I already have a couple of ice cream books, so I resisted one more. Well, fast-forward a few weeks and I read an article about Jeni and her stores in Columbus, Ohio, where I am from. So I certainly had to support a hometown girl: the perfect excuse to buy a new book. Once I had it in my hot little hands I was even more happy. I love a cookbook with stories and this one had that along with my new favorite obsession: seasonal chapters.
So back to this vanilla bean. It was Jeni’s recommendation to go Ugandan. It was the softest and plumpest vanilla bean and it came in a container that is best described as a test tube. Make no mistake, this is not cookies and cream, there was just that much bean.
This is the fourth time I’ve made some ice cream from this book, so I knew what I was in for with the basic directions. However, the rolling boil for four minutes makes me a little tense.
As always, the end result is well worth it. And I swear the fact that it’s in my cute little bowl from Anthropoligie makes it taste even better.
Of course I had to add the closeup for the star of the show.
Marnie and I met for lunch today, so as far as I was concerned, that was the perfect excuse to bake. I’ve discovered that it’s a nice way to spend a Sunday morning, although last week I baked on Saturday. . . but it felt like Sunday, probably because I was baking. Anyway, another new favorite — mostly because it’s seasonal, but also because there are recipes in it that I would never pick on my own — is Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg. Today’s installment was Cheese Sables with an accent on the e to make it SAH-blay. They are buttery and cheesy (cheddar and parmesan) with just a little cayenne. Those are black sesame seeds on there. It called for black onion seeds or kalonji, which I couldn’t find anywhere. Turns out they are also known as nigella seeds. I guess I’ll know better next time.
It made a lot more than this, but I sent Marnie packing, so to speak.
Eat Well and Savor