I’m starting to understand how to adjust the timing for making home made ice cream, if I want it firm enough at serving time. I made the custard yesterday to give it a full 24 hours chill in the fridge before churning in the ice cream machine this morning. It only had to run for 15 minutes before it was ready to set in the freezer for tonight.

I’ve been visiting my favorite local ice cream shop for more pointers on my experiments. I was telling one of the owners that I was surprised at how well the salted caramel ice cream came out. It wasn’t a solid block of ice.
“That’s because there’s salt in the custard. Salt melts ice.”
… duh … you’d think a girl from Wisconsin would know about the properties of salt on ice.

Today’s flavor was a request from Master S: peanut butter. After finding a recipe that had similar ingredients to the successful salted caramel, I bravely adapted 6 egg yolks to 3 whole eggs. Cream, sugar, whole milk, vanilla, and peanut butter. That was it. It was a little harder than the salted caramel, but still pretty creamy.

I wanted to play with the idea of a Snickers sundae; thinking to stir in chopped chocolate bar bits, peanuts and drizzle with a caramel sauce. Then I found a new flavor of Caramel M&Ms. What I didn’t expect was how much harder they would be when chilled. They are much softer off the shelf.

The album that accompanied this experiment was another new one to me, discovered by my audiophile husband. The Hard Working Americans have a sound that is reminiscent of the Grateful Dead. Maybe it’s the organ, make it’s the folk rock drums, maybe it’s the lyrics. Maybe it’s that if I was in Appleton instead of Bethlehem, I’d actually be listening to the Grateful Dead on someone’s archive music for our reunion class.

Hard Working Americans is a jam band supergroup. The lineup includes bassist Dave Schools and drummer Duane Trucks of Widespread Panic, guitarist Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood, keyboardist Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi, and singer-songwriter Todd Snider on lead vocals. Shortly after the release of their first album, HWA added Tulsa guitarist Jesse Aycock to the fold. (ref link)

Listening to this album may be more appropriate with a beer while tending the roasting of various meats on a grill. But for this rainy Saturday, it’ll do quite nicely with my bowl of Snickers Ice Cream Sundae.

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