Remember when I got that hare-brained idea to infuse a rather lovely amber bottle of Breckenridge Distillery bourbon with some foraged Ponderosa bark? Now that the bourbon is back in its original vessel, I’m left with the bark which is still rich in caramel/spice/woodsy flavors and scents, plus the added layers of bourbon notes and honey. There is no way I’m throwing this stuff out, and I think we’ll be able to find many tasty uses for it.
If you’ve never made ice cream at home, start perusing Williams-Sonoma or Craigslist or garage sales or something for an ice cream machine. We found a Cuisinart model, new- or practically-new-in-the-box at a flea market in a town called Loveland. Makes sense. While it retails for $130, ours cost $20, which might be even better than having the actual ability to make it at home. But maybe not. When you control the ingredients, all the way down to the amount of sugar or other sweetener used, it just tastes better.
We made our ice cream with a mixture of non-homogenized ["cream top" in hippie-speak] cream and raw whole milk and… whew! Let me tell you, that is some heady stuff. It is SO good. The richness of all this unbroken, unadulterated milk and fat will make you shiver with delight. The fat is so cold it actually coats the roof of your mouth, something I’ve never experienced with ice cream before. It’s all I can do to stay out of it. Fortunately, now that we have this nifty little machine, I can make ice cream just about anytime I want in a half hour. The freezing bowl is now living in our chest freezer so it’s ready at a moment’s notice.
I can’t wait to play with it, making ice creams of all flavors, custards, frozen yogurt, sorbet… this thing may be my new best foodie friend. To bring out all the magical flavors of the bourbon-soaked Ponderosa, I added about a cup of the bark to two cups of cream, and let it steep for two days or so. Then all you have to do is strain out the bark, and you’re ready to go! Butter brought over some of her black walnuts which we added at the last minute. Simple goodness.