the best way to say thank you is with a home cooked dinner, right? i got to spend a couple of days on christmas at my friends' wonderful abode in the mountains, which kinda was the best thing to end the old and start the new year, all in one. in order to say thank you - properly and like a grown-up - i planned to cook something (admittedly fast but nonetheless) yum. basically: pasta and home made ice cream. well, lucky me, because my mom's friends lent her their vintage cool ice cream machine. you know, one of those classy types that make ice cream simply by putting the plug in. no parts that you have to put in the freezer first. perfect! i thought. i'm going to make my first proper ice cream. yay!
so, after (lots) of pasta, it was ice cream time. it had to be coconut milk (because i'm ogling with vegan sometimes, a little) and blueberry (because everything is better with blueberries). so, with high expectations and hopes, we set about making that delicious little bastard. poured everything in the cool machine, switched the switches on - and waited. and waited. and waited. and… nothing happened. i think after an hour, the 'ice cream' (more like 'sauce') was still… just liquid. hmm. to put it nicely: it was not ice cream at all, it was crap.
the way it always goes though, when you have a couple of cool boys around: you'll have the boys discuss the machine's abilities, possible deficits and potential failure (mainly in my ice cream making skills… ahem). help was coming from two sides: while one guy was assessing the specifics of the machine (that, by that time, i'd cursed to the moon), the other guy was browsing insights on vegan ice cream making. and found a couple of
random helpful facts. e.g. that sugar brings down the freezing temperature. first (to me not so obvious but now apparent) 'meh': i didn't add any sugar to the ice cream, as i only sweetened it with honey (obsessed with making this decadent ice cream disaster at least a healthy one…). so that might have been the problem. so far, so good. failure accepted - i thought. the boys, though, wanted to make this ice cream mission work. they didn't take 'possibly not sugary enough to work as an ice cream' as an answer. so, the obvious next step was to put the ice cream machine out in the cold - because obviously, it was a 'winter ice cream machine'. let's just say: us girls, we were skeptic thought that was utter bullshit and let's just all go to mcdonalds instead. yet, boys will be boys, and they wouldn't be boys if they didn't try everything to show that bloody vegan ice cream, right. so they put the whole machine outside and made a forecast: we were going to get our ice cream within the hour. the were euphoric - meanwhile we were still skeptic dreaming of sleep… an ice cream machine that only works in the cold? seriously, boys, you've got to be kidding us…
now, i like to win a (gender) battle. but i like my ice cream supply more. and ice cream we got. granted, three hours later than planned. but the sauce eventually turned into ice cream. the good machine needed a little help of the extra cold. but don't we all need a little helping hand, sometimes. thanks boys, for the lesson in sexy manly persistence and vegan ice cream making. you rock!
foraged salad with raspberry dressing
500 g wild salad leaves (i used dandelion)
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup mixed, edible wild flowers (i used dandelion, lady's smock and primrose)
1/4 cup gorgonzola, broken into pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. fleur de sel
1 tsp. honey
1 knife's point harissa
wash the dandelion leaves thoroughly (if bitter, dip it in warm water a bit) and chop. make a dressing: use 5 raspberries and squeeze and crush them in a bowl with a fork. add the oil and vinegar, and season with honey, salt and harissa. arrange the salad on a plate, scatter with the remaining raspberries, gorgonzola and edible flowers.