Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three bowls and a beater

Firstly, this is not me, or my beautiful life.  This is Annabel Langbein, The Free Range Cook, and my portal to the kitchen. 

Photo: TVNZ
The Free Range Cook, Episode 2: Getting ready for dinner

Annabel gives you all those little tips and facts that other foodie authors tend to assume is prior knowledge.  I am a culinary blank slate.  As I have repeatedly told Mr T, assume nothing. 

She is to Gordon Ramsey as hot is to cold.  Her favourite thing is "getting people into the kitchen with fun, easy to prepare recipes that won't stress them out".

I thought I'd put that to the test today by inviting younger and elder daughters (aged 5 and 6), to make ice-cream while the boy-child slept the afternoon away.

It did occur to me that I was being ambitious.  I've never made ice-cream before, the girls are fiercely competitive about 'turns', and frankly, we were already a bit tetchy.

But it is the end of the summer holidays, school resumes Monday after six weeks, and I am completely over outdoor activities, especially those requiring me to carry all the bags or generally do the grunt work while they have fun. (Until they don't have fun any more, and turn on you like a pack of banshees.)

I did mention 'tetchy'.

Furthermore, Mr T is conveniently away on business for three days, so sweet things are back on the do-what-it-takes menu.  

Annabel's ice-cream base recipe requires three bowls - one for the egg whites, one for the egg yolks, and one for the cream - so that got us off to a smooth start in a' bowl each' kind of way.  Add caster sugar, boiling water and the judicious use of an electric beater, and then it's into the freezer for a minimum four hours.

So far, so good.  

The plan is to cycle/scoot along the the river tomorrow to the road-side stalls for fresh raspberries and strawberries to 'dress' our ice-cream.  A dust of icing sugar to serve and you might think I knew what I was doing.

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