Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ice Cream as an Art Form

In an issue of Gastronomica, there's an article on whether food can be considered art. I wholeheartedly agree with this notion, but I understand if others do not. After all, food, for all intents and purposes, is sustenance for our bodies. It's fuel - plain and simple. But I do believe that food is also pleasure - and when done well can be just as or more affecting than art. I don't know if I've ever been moved to tears by food - but there have been bites that have been life-changing. Sometimes it has been a "perfect" bite - the ultimate blend of the senses, others have been the realization and product of superior technique and pure ingredients. And sometimes, it's just damned good. I don't need to explain that food is beautiful - I mean, go check out any issue of Bon Appetit or back issue of Gourmet or even food blogs out there - you will see pictures and food styled and crafted so well, it is hard to fathom that it actually exists in real life and is edible!!

Anyway, I went into this long introductory story to set up another story of a conversation I had with the Mothership. I was lamenting the lack of freezer space due to some overzealous ice cream making and she said, "well, why don't you just stop making ice cream?"

I froze (not literally, hahaha). I was also shocked and hurt. The Mothership is an artist, if anyone were to understand my need to create, invent, and experiment with desserts of the frozen variety - it would be her! I coolly asked her, "well then, you should stop painting. Goodness knows you have enough artwork around the house? Why do you need more? Why do you do it?"

"Ice cream is MY art. It may be unconventional, but it's what I do to express myself and be creative."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Been a While!

Yep, I know - it's been too long! I can guarantee you that I haven't been idle in the kitchen - I've actually been really busy cooking away! I'm doing a lot less baking as the weather is slowly getting warmer and I've been doing a lot more cooking - but not a lot of it particularly blog-worthy. Yet.

As the season is getting warmer, it's time to bring out the ice cream maker again. Wheeee! Not that it has stopped me in the winter - but now I have opportunities to bring a pint or two over to friends to enjoy.

There are a few times in the year when ataulfo mangoes are ripe - it's a short season but I try and take advantage of it by eating as many mangoes as I can. This year I decided to make a mango sorbet. This dairy-free treat can be just as amazing as their more creamy cousins, but the trick is to get really ripe fruit. Again, consider that the flavour must concentrate, so anything less than taste perfection is unacceptable. A local market was selling "ripe" mangoes for 99cents/lb (vs the more firm less ripe ones for double the price) - I promptly picked up 5. Martha Stewart (of course) has a fantastic recipe for sorbet - which is essentially 2 cups of fruit puree to 1 cup of sugar syrup. For the mango sorbet recipe - it was 2 cups puree + 1/4 cup water + 1 1/4 cups simple syrup. I sliced up some fresh ginger and infused it into the simple syrup to give the sorbet a bit of a kick - and yes, it was delicious!