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You'll need an ice cream freezer for this recipe.  I use one that attaches to my stand mixer, chills in the freezer, and doesn't use rock salt.  Save the rock salt for your driveway.

This ice cream should capture something good from several holiday dishes--fruitcake, egg nog, and roasted chestnuts.

2 cups half-and-half
chestnuts, enough to make 8 ounces of puree (I use about half a large jar)
one can (15 oz.), sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk, because that would be nasty)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, pineapple, apricots, or whatever makes you feel holiday-ish, without being nasty)

Start heating the half-and-half in a medium saucepan.  You will want it to boil in about 10 minutes.

While that's cooking, puree the chestnuts in a food processor.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  If you like other spices like allspice or cloves, add a little of those too, but not much (cloves will make your tongue numb).  Blend it until it's smooth.

Add the eggs and salt, and blend that until it's smooth.

Your half-and-half should almost be boiling.  When it comes to a boil, start the food processor, and while it's running, pour the half-and-half into the food processor through the feed tube.  Blend well.

Pour the mix back into your saucepan, and put it over low heat.  You want it to get hot, but not to boil.  Stir it constantly until it starts to thicken.  (You just made a custard!)  Set a strainer over a large bowl, and pour the custard through the strainer.  If any of the eggs started to scramble, this should get them out of your ice cream.

Let the custard cool a little.  Stir in the vanilla.  If you have other good extracts--rum extract, brandy extract, maybe almond extract-- a half teaspoon of just one of them might be good too.  Real rum or other liquor will tend to keep your ice cream from setting up firmly, so that's a trade-off between taste and texture you'll have to consider for yourself.

Put the custard in the refrigerator until it's cold, somewhere between 4 hours and a day.

When you're ready to freeze the ice cream, stir the custard.  Freeze it in your ice cream freezer.  When it's finished but still soft, stir in the dried fruit.  Pour it into a container to freeze, and put it in your freezer overnight.  Serve and enjoy.

Adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, Weinstein.

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Surprise #1) None of the stores around here seem to carry Dutch process cocoa.

Surprise #2) Tesla and Mark Twain were on friendly terms with each other. Here's a photo of Twain in Tesla's lab. I shall presume, basedon other info, that it's authentic.

Surprise #3) There's already a secret-history graphic novel about surprise #2, The Five Fists of Science by Fraction and Sanders. (Pity it's not French and Saunders.). I don't suppose any of you can tell me whether it's as good as the Twain-Tesla secret history going through my head.

Somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes, and about 600 words on the deathless_pose  story.  It's veering wildly away from the prompt, but I'm holding on for the ride.  "It's a first draft, dude.  Chill."  POV character has gone out of the scene, into interior monologue to tell me about that time when bad stuff happened to him, which unexpectedly (for me, at least) turned into his embarrassing behavior and his Awful Secret, which made almost everyone at his job stop talking to him.

Way to exorcise your fears about job stuff, Beast, despite the fact that it's going pretty well right now.  Oh, well, have at it.  If you need bones to make stock, they might as well be mine.


Will try to reply to comments later today.  Last night was spent buying groceries for some ice cream I wanted to make, getting home and working on it, and realizing that I needed but hadn't bought Dutch process cocoa.  Which I find is not available at two of our local grocery stores.  Will be looking elsewhere tonight, and possibly working on the ice cream more.

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Recipe: mix together equal portions of each type of flavored syrup, and add one shot of the mixture to a latte.

No thanks.


Here, via Healthbolt.

Arby"s still makes the best mozzarella sticks

If you’re homesick for Hamlet, take this short poll about Renaissance drama. (It’s more fun than it sounds.)

Remember those x-ray glasses advertised in comic books? Now the TSA has them. They promise they won’t abuse the power, pinky swear. BTW, the TSA says you should renew your gym membership.

But first, have a cupcake. Having noticed other people’s special “congrats” icons, I’m tempted to make icons of some or all of these. Can anyone point me to some icon-making tutorials for the clueless and software-poor (freeware is everyone’s friend)?

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From the Consumerist blog, it's a (completely unverified) guide to secret menu items, featuring info about Wendy's, Subway, Starbucks, Dairy Queen, and others, including the canonical secret-but-not-really-secret-menu folks, SoCal chain In-N-Out Burger.

Your success may depend on the experience level and mood of the staff when you visit. I don't believe for a minute that Taco Bell will "likely make anything they have the stuff for" if you get an assistant manager who doesn't want to fool with it. Lots of these places have trouble getting my order right when it's something that they fix a hundred times a day.

Some of these are lame (what kind of secret is the "mustard Whopper"?), but the big lesson is that you should consider anything on the menu, in any combination, fair game.

My contribution to the secret menu info: Sonic Drive-in used to sell their regular burgers with mayo, mustard, or hickory sauce (a medium-thick sweet barbecue sauce). The burger with hickory sauce was actually listed as a separate sandwich item. It's now been removed from the menu, but I think they still keep hickory sauce for other sandwiches. Just ask for it instead of mayo or mustard. Unlike things like jalapenoes or chili, it's no extra charge.


I was reminded of this by some comments at ellen_fremedon's LJ:

I've always wanted to serve Penn and Teller's Bleeding Heart Dessert.

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