stone avocado

Holiday Treat Ice Cream

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.
stone avocado

Good idea at the time, part whatever

I have plenty of things I should be doing, and yet I keep thinking it would be fun to learn to play the ukulele.

Learning a few chords on the guitar would be much more useful. You might as well offer me salsa when I want chocolate.

I am feeling almost procrastinatey enough to start cleaning the house. But not quite.

Posted via LjBeetle
stone avocado

5 things make a State of the Avocado address

1) There doesn't seem to be a decent Android app for reading or posting to LiveJournal. LJing in the browser is a bit messy, and I don't seem to be spending much time with the computer at home. But I'm trying to catch up with what you've been doing, honest.

That said, if you want me to know something or answer something, e-mail me. If you don't have my e-mail address, comment here. If I don't have your address, leave it in disguised form in the comments so you don't get spammed.

2) I'm buying a house. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm having my doubts.

3) Viable Paradise 15 has opened for submissions, so there's been some work for me on that end of things. Jay Lake and Sherwood Smith are replacing John Scalzi and Laura Mixon, and I think I'd pay to hear them sit around and critique the phone book. (Too many characters, not enough plot, they would probably say.)

4) The job continues. Some of my co-workers who had been chilly to me have warmed up. Maybe it's the weather. I think my biggest problem right now is figuring out which skills I should spend my time getting better at.

5) My travel schedule for the year is VP15 in early October, probably Worldcon Reno in August, and probably World Fantasy San Diego in late October. I had planned to travel to Austin next month on business, but that looks like a bad idea now because of house stuff. If I can work it out, I'll take one or two trips for work some time this year (they've been good about approving training travel), but they probably won't be to Exciting Destinations like, uh, wherever you live.
stone avocado

all I want for Christmas

One of these to scan all of my books currently in storage, a Nook to put the books on, and an Oompa Loompa to do that fiddly bit in between.

I think I could mock up something suitable for the lights and cameras, using boom or gooseneck microphone stands. The platen and the adjustable cradle, though -- not sure I understand them well enough yet, though.
stone avocado


It amuses me that my daily packet of vitamins looks like a, hrm, different sort of preventative. I usually try to keep them turned the other way (so the pills are visible, rather than just the gold wrapper) when I leave them on my desk at work, before I take them mid-morning.

One of my daily rituals. Any funny little daily rituals on your part, f-list?

(I'm trying out a new app for my phone, Pixelpipe, in hopes of making it easier to upload pictures to LJ and, in turn, easier to blog more often. Expect hiccups.)
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stone avocado

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train

Flying to Boston this afternoon for Viable Paradise 14.

Will probably post short observations during the workshop on Twitter, as @MrPersimmon. If I collect them and drop them into LJ as a daily-or-so post, I'll try to keep it as unobnoxious as possible for Twitter hatred.

I'll read all comments here and will try to respond as best I can. I expect it will be mostly on my phone, and I haven't seen a good LJ app for Android.

As will be apparent in any photos, I seem to have acquired a beard. (Voidmonster, you have no competition from this direction.)
stone avocado

Dreams can come true

Who hasn't dreamt of seeing the National Roller Skating Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska? I hope I'll have time.

For now, my flight is delayed in Chicago-O'Hare, known (by me, at least) for its terrible food choices. Let's hope I find something better than the Manchu Wok.