97 degrees - that's the high today, and that's here in New
England. Even the most dedicated home cook has mixed feelings
about cooking in weather like this. All I want to do is sit
in a hammock with a book while someone brings me a cool drink once
in a while. Or, better yet, a dish of ice cream.
Pretty much nothing compares with homemade ice cream in the
summer. I tend to make just two kinds: mint chocolate chip
and cherry chocolate chip. But when I just have to visit new
frontiers in frozen dessert, I go to one of my two favorite
sources: A Passion for Ice Cream, by Emily Luchetti, or The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz.
The Perfect Scoop is what you might call a dictionary of ice
cream recipes--most of them slightly tweaked and twisted from your
everyday flavors: basil ice cream, say, or white chocolate
ice cream, or my favorite, malted milk ice cream.
Emily Luchetti's book, on the other hand, is
ice-cream-plus: in every recipe ice cream's just the basement
of a 2 or 3-story house. It might be the start of a
milkshake, or a cake, or an ice cream sandwich. None of us lives a life full of certainty,
but one thing I can tell you is that just as soon as I had had my
first bite of Frozen Key Lime Pie
with Crushed Sugar Cone Crust and Macadamia Nut Cream, I pretty
much felt I had completed what I came here to do. And during
these lazy, hot, summer days, you really can't ask for a feeling
better than that.