I can't even bring myself to give you a garden update. While I was away this weekend, Tim gave me the rundown of our plants and it was not the magical moment where he tells me we are certified green thumbs that I had been expecting. Let's just say we are on our last ditch effort to save our tomatoes.
I will say that the trip from our house to our garden has been more enjoyable than I expected. The garden is outside of the city, and we have to drive through the uptown (or downtown?) area of Mason to get there. Just as you are about to reenter the great wide open areas outside of town, there is a little ice cream stand.
This is not just any ice cream stand. It's the most popular ice cream stand I've ever seen. Every single time we drive past the line is all the way out to the sidewalk and then curved around to one side or another. People of all ages are standing around slurping milkshakes or licking vanilla soft serve ice cream. It's clearly a summer staple in Mason, and one I hope to try out for myself very soon.
Ice cream madness is not exclusively in Mason. Home cooks everywhere are making ice cream. Just this past week my coworker Reanne asked me if I had ever made home made ice cream without an ice cream maker. Well, I hadn't then, but I decided that I needed to try.
I had been carrying around a faint memory of watching Nigella Lawson make a tex-mex fiesta for some friends in which she made tequila ice cream without an ice cream maker. If you know me outside of this blog, you know that I have a terrible memory. It infuriates my husband to no end, and I'm sure he's not the first to be frustrated with the way I can simply let things go from my mind. My argument is that I am asked to remember a lot--family things, work appointments, over 27 years of things that have happened in my life--and I just don't have the energy to store them all. I have overcome some of my forgetfulness by creating habits--always putting my keys in the same place, making lists, using my Outlook calendar--but inevitably I will forget something that is important to someone else. Consider this an apology to anyone who feels like I've forgotten something important. I'm a work in progress.
This tequila ice cream must have made a big impression on me. I must have been sitting there watching the television and saying to myself, "Store that somewhere, self. You might need that when you're sitting at home trying to think of what to make for dinner when your friends come all the way out to the suburbs to visit you."
Before Tim and I went Krogering to pick up all of the other items needed for our little dinner party, we stopped by a liquor store near our new neighborhood. Tim ran in and I waited in the car. About 30 seconds later, he came flying back to the car with no liquor in hand and a scowl on his face. My first instinct, "Is the place getting robbed? Something bad happened?"
No. None of that. "They charge you $1 to use your debit card. I'm not paying $10 for a $9 bottle of tequila."
So that settled that. We were not buying tequila from that liquor store. Or probably anything else from there either...ever.
We instead picked up a bottle of margarita mix with the liquor already in it from the grocery and that immediately changed this from a five ingredient ice cream to a three ingredient ice cream. I'm all about simplicity--I can only remember so many things anyway.
You must do this a day in advance and the amount of servings this makes are sort of iffy. I froze the ice cream in two small plastic containers, and my dinner party of five was so full from guacamole, lime-cilantro grilled shrimp, and fish tacos that we each only ate a small scoop in a little parfait dish. We didn't even finish a full container. So if I were estimating, this recipe makes 10-12 servings for a post-dinner dessert, but if you waited a few hours until you were good and hungry again, you might be closer to 8-10 servings. If you are the type who loves margaritas and would drink a margarita instead of eat dinner, you might get 6 servings out of this (but I would still always recommend dinner, especially if you are eating at my house!)
Margarita Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson
*A quick note: In the original recipe, Nigella measures some things by weight and some things by volume and it was getting a bit confusing. Since I don't have a scale I just estimated a few things and it turned out perfectly. I think that my measurements in my adaptation will work well for you, but you are welcome to try her measurements shown in the link if you have a scale.
3/4 cup Margarita Mix with Tequila already mixed in
1/2 cup powdered sugar
16 oz heavy cream
optional: lime zest for garnish
In a medium bowl, pour in the margarita mix and stir in the powdered sugar until dissolved. Add cream and whisk until thick but smooth, not stiff. Spoon mixture into airtight container and freeze overnight.
Serve immediately after removing from the freezer and garnish with lime zest.