Make it or buy it?

Our latest challenge for Dark Days was to make a dessert made of local ingredients. I knew this would be a tough week for me. First of all, I think of myself as a cook, not a baker. Secondly, sugar is not local and fruit is not in season. I searched for recipes, looking for desserts with honey. I also considered using the rest of my strawberries in the freezer that we picked this past summer. I finally landed on Honey Lavender Ice Cream because it didn’t have sugar and I could get all the ingredients locally, with the exception of salt and the lavender flowers (although I could have grown the lavender).

I’ve never made ice cream before. My only memory of homemade ice cream is from when I was five years old and my parents making ice cream on our porch. My memory is of the wooden ice cream maker spinning the ice and salt.  I don’t really remember the ice cream itself and the ice cream maker didn’t make many appearances after that. This is noteworthy because I’m debating the “make it or buy it” aspect of food. There is a book I’ve been meaning to read called Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, which talks about what the author believes is worth making at home and what you should buy.

This is what I had to do to make my pint of ice cream. I borrowed an ice cream maker, learned to use the ice cream maker, shopped at four different stores to collect my ingredients, and finally proceeded to follow the recipe, which ended up spanning two days. I was pretty grumpy as I began making the ice cream, but the aroma and the color of the ice cream mixture changed my mind by the end of the first night. I began dreaming of other flavors I could try. The result? The lavender was a bit overpowering and the honey made it a bit too sweet. However, the texture was unbelievable. It was creamy and perfect, and I couldn’t stop eating it even though the flavor wasn’t just right. With some adjustments, I think it could be amazing.

Make it or buy it? After all the time spent, I’ll be heading to my favorite ice cream place, Pumphouse Creamery for most of my ice cream cravings. However, I think I will try making more flavors in the future, even if it is time-consuming. Even as I type, the creamy texture is making my mouth water.

In other news at our house, we are celebrating half birthdays. While this is not our normal practice, the older boys did not get birthday parties last summer. We celebrated the birth of Son #4 three days before Son #2’s birthday, six days before Son #3’s birthday, and nineteen days before Son #1’s birthday. Half birthdays seemed like the best solution. Son #2 got the first party and we celebrated with a couple of his friends with a pizza lunch and 3-D movie. I decided to make half of a cake and use 6 candles, with an extra candle shoved in further to represent the half year. My favorite moment was when my boys were telling their friends “My mom makes the BEST cake”. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, I made my first cake from a mix in over six years. It reminded me why I don’t make cake from mixes, but my boys didn’t know the difference. I still made it for them and that is all that matters.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Xan said,

    I substitute honey for sugar all the time, in fact for MOST of my baked goods. You want to increase (or add) baking soda by about 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of honey, and you need to adjust the liquid ingredients a little to make up for the moisture. You need WAY less honey than sugar for an equally sweet treat, and the flavors are fine!

  2. 2

    Tammy said,

    Your ice cream looks fabulous.

  3. 3

    […] potions!) Woohoo Tofu started in on her Valentine’s Treats for our next challenge–Honey Vanilla Ice Cream! Be sure to check out her One Pot to Four Courses post and the problems of Menu Planning, something […]

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