A friend I met through Twitter has a theme on his Instagram account called “Dinner and Vinyl.” Following his inspiration, I will blend a couple of goals I have for mastering a cooking technique, expanding my listening experience, and enjoying both on our patio in the warm summer air. Fair readers, let me welcome you to a new weekly topic:

“Albums and Ice Cream.”

Albums – because it may not always be vinyl, but it will be the entire album of work with a few brief comments on the overall impression. There is artistic thought into the flow of an album; the order of songs and the sense of journey throughout. Sure, there will be songs that grab me more than others, but to fully experience the listening, I give myself the gift of undivided attention and don’t talk over it either.

Ice Cream – because… c’mon! Do I really have to explain that?

This post features a new to me chocolate ice cream recipe and Little Steven Van Zandt’s new album, “Soulfire.”

Downloaded last week, the first tune, “Soulfire” already claimed the spot for my song of the summer. It’s got a great opening feel that makes me want to get in the car and just drive. With each track, you start to hear similar arrangements to some of the E Street Band; no doubt, his touch. He produced the album with so much nostalgic sound. Give track 8 a listen and tell me if that doesn’t have a familiar groove. According to my husband, if it’s got a trombone solo, it’s already a classic. And yes, this tune has a trombone solo. If you haven’t closed your eyes and started a little sway while listening; you have no soul.

Here’s a solid introduction to the album by Lara Stavropoulos on udiscovermusic. com. In the article, she mentions some of the tools and people in the album. She also reminded me that it’s been twenty years since his last solo album. This album, dear Mr. Van Zandt, is so worth the wait. If you choose to look for it on Spotify, that’s fine. But do the artist a solid and buy the entire album. There’s more than 15 other musicians on the album to get paid, too.

The ice cream recipe was ok. It was a regular egg custard with a cocoa powder base, and chopped semi-sweet chocolate melted into the base before cooling and adding cream and vanilla. No matter how much you think the solid chocolate melted, there’s still a grainy feel to the custard. I’ll keep trying other chocolate ice cream recipes.

In case you’re wondering, I do have an electric ice cream machine that makes these experiments possible. It sits patiently in my basement storage area until Memorial Day and gets its full measure of work until Labor Day.

Well these posts are going to be fun to pull together. I hope you’ll join me in the fun of exploring new sounds and new tastes. If you do, please share!

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