After nursing my knee along for a couple of days, I finally retaped it, slapped on the brace and took my garbage — five huge bags of it, including two filled with cat litter — out to the alley. Pickup is on Thursday and I didn’t want to miss that.
I stopped to skritch neighbor dogs across the alley, and to peer at the milkweed. Glinda had said that it was covered in aphids as well as small orange bugs, and while I saw a lot of the latter, the former was represented by one, lonely orange aphid who was getting stepped on (or possibly murdered) by a milkweed bug.
A week or so ago I took a photo or two of adult milkweed bugs mating, and what you see above, to the left, is the result of their passion. They’re kinda cute, even though they’re trying to eat the seed pods. I gave the plant a couple of good whacks and suddenly there were no bugs at all! Honestly, they all think they can live rent free here.
I checked out a couple of other plants on the way back into the house and found a couple of bumblebees sweet-talking a sunflower. One fled before I could snap his pic, but this one was determined. There were also a lot of zinnias in bloom, which is always fun. They’re so colorful. I think so many of them look like church hats.
I also noted that the Sweet Autumn clematis was not just in bloom, but seemingly taking over the fence in the Hell Strip. The scent is just glorious, and in a couple of years, that’s all that’s going to be left of all the clematis we’ve planted there.
So many of the other flowers are blown now, and we’re just waiting to collect the seeds. One of our roses has climbed to the point where her cane must be at least 15 feet long. I want to fasten it to the line we have running between the house and the garage and hope that she’ll bloom along it in the future. It would make an amazing looking arch of roses.
So, when I came inside, I was going to see what I could pull together for dinner, but I got sidetracked with an idea for a chocolate ice cream recipe. I’d gotten an ice cream maker for review, and have been playing with various ideas ever since. And of course I wanted to do chocolate ice cream, because… chocolate, right? So this is what I threw together:
- 5 squares Trader Joe’s Pound Plus dark chocolate bar or about 60g/2.2 oz of a 72% cacao or better chocolate. Basically I had 4 squares available and I chopped the equivalent of a fifth one off a huge chunk of Caillebaut dark chocolate I got at Tony’s a few weeks ago, so the equivalent is about 60 grams, give or take.
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 pint of heavy cream
- 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 to 1 C of half and half, to thin the mixture.
- 1tsp Vanilla or thereabout
- A little brewed coffee (optional)
- A touch of cinnamon (also optional)
I don’t normally like to use the condensed milk/heavy cream recipes because I usually find the finished product way too oily, but it was what I had.
So I melted the chocolate and beat in the can of condensed milk. The chocolate seized as I figured it would, but I kept beating as I added the milk in increments, and got a paste. Then I added the cream in increments, and kept beating it. When I tasted it, it was way too sweet, so I started adding unsweetened cocoa. Once I’d added about half a cup, I got tired of stirring, and wasn’t really getting very far in incorporating the cocoa properly, so I tossed it in my blender.
A few seconds in the blender told me that it was much too thick. I added vanilla paste, cinnamon, a touch of coffee, and about half a cup of half and half, which thinned it to the point where it felt like a proper ice cream base. It made two pint jars of base (which will be way too much to use in this tiny ice cream maker, so I’ll probably get four batches out of it) plus just enough for two popsicles which I froze when I put the base in the fridge to chill.
While I have yet to try this as churned ice cream, the popsicles were excellent. Glinda liked them, I liked them, and frankly, in this house, that’s what matters. Even unchurned the consistency was smooth and creamy, which is a quality you do get from the condensed milk/cream recipes. But what was miraculous was that it wasn’t horribly greasy the way some of the recipes have been with that mixture. I’m guessing the cocoa absorbs some of the fat.
I’ll probably make the ice cream over the long weekend. What better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a dish of homemade ice cream, right?