Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Give Me Life, Liberty and Homemade Ice Cream!

Are you looking for a fabulous ice cream recipe for a 4th of July celebration? Luckily, your search is over! I shared this ice cream recipe several years ago and it is a perfect time to share again. This is a traditional cooked custard recipe my dad has made for years.  It makes the most creamy, deliciousness that you will ever put in your mouth.  You can really taste the difference between a cooked ice cream and a non-cooked ice cream.  It doesn't take long to prepare this recipe and it is worth the little bit of effort you will put into it. In fact, I have all the ingredients sitting on the counter ready to make the custard.  I have to tell you that we often fight over who gets to lick the spoon and clean out the bowl!

Let's look at the Starting Line-Up.  Just a few basic ingredients.  Please note that the ice cream salt in the picture is only for my ice cream freezer and not for the recipe!!
If you are like me, I like the recipe all at once and then the pictorial steps.  So here it is!
Ralph's Creamy Custard Ice Cream
2 and 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon regular table salt
5 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, beaten
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla

Combine sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually stir in milk and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until thickened.  Gradually temper eggs by adding the hot milk mixture by small amount to the eggs, beating as you temper.  Once tempered, slowly add egg mixture to the milk mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the custard coats a spoon.  Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.  Lastly, combine whipping cream and vanilla to the mixture and freeze in an ice cream freezer.
Now to create your masterpiece!  Combine the sugar, flour, and table salt.  Gradually whisk in the whole milk.  Continue to cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  It looks good already!
While this is cooking, beat 4 eggs in a separate bowl and temper the eggs by gradually whisking in a little of the heated milk mixture to the eggs.  If you just plop the eggs into the milk mixture without tempering, you will end up with scrambled egg ice cream!  After tempering, add the eggs slowly to the pot and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.  This takes about a minute or two.  When the custard coats a spoon, you are done with this stage and will have a pot full of delicious custard.
My dad always strains the custard to make sure that it is free of any flour lumps, eggs particles, or foreign objects.  I'm not sure what foreign objects we are looking for, but he does it and so do I! You can skip this part if you want; however, Dad would tell you to strain!
At this point, you are ready to cover the custard and refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight. Cover it immediately so a layer will not form on the top of the custard.
Now comes the fun part!  After the custard has been refrigerated, add 4 cups of heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of vanilla to the custard.  Mix well with a spoon.  You will probably want to get a clean spoon, dip in, and taste what you are about to put in your ice cream freezer!  If you find you have to taste it again (and you will), just get another clean spoon!  No re-dipping!  Follow the freezing instructions for your your ice cream freezer.  This recipe will yield 4 quarts of happiness!

If you don't eat it all in one sitting, just freeze it.  This ice cream freezes extremely well without ever getting icy.  This picture was from a previous batch I made and we ate the last of it over a hot fudge cobbler. However, this ice cream is perfect all on its own.  No sprinkles, nuts, or fancy syrups required.  It is simply scrumptious!!  
Happy 4th of July and Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I've Been Thinking

I've Been Thinking...those three words bring a look of terror to my husband's eyes.  He usually bows his head and rubs his forehead.  That's his signal for "Lord help me"! My hubby says that those three words always mean work for him! Guess what? He is completely correct! I'm sure I'm not the only one who utters those words. How about any of you?

I love to move things around...usually big things.  We have a farmhouse (like you couldn't figure that out with my blog title 😏), which has two rooms on the right of a center hall and two rooms on the left. I have swapped my dining room for the reading room and back again too many times to count.  I am a little ashamed to say that not only does this involve moving furniture, but it also involves moving a chandelier.  I didn't realize how heavy the chandelier was until I had to help hold it! Yikes!

So, I've been thinking again. This time my vision involves our living room and our reading room.  You can read more about my reading room here at Still Woods Farmhouse Reading Room.  I love curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea in my Reading Room. Its such cozy room, so I hope what we are about to do won't ruin that atmosphere.  Mr Darcy has been running around the Reading Room wondering what is going on? A room that was once full is now almost bare...more room for running!
So wish us luck and I'll do a few Before and Afters later, but for now, this may give you a glimpse of what my poor, sweet husband goes through whenever I act on those three words!

Blessings from Lynda and Mr Darcy of
Still Woods Farmhouse

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fresh Watermelon and Feta Salad

I have to share this delicious salad with you.  It has been so hot here in Mississippi..and its barely June!  One evening all I wanted was a quick, refreshing salad for dinner.  I had watermelon and Feta cheese in the fridge and wanted a salad which combined both.  After a quick look through the internet, I found Ina Garten's recipe.  I was excited to see that her recipe also included fresh mint and I have a caboodle of mint growing in the garden.  It looked like a win, win recipe!

I didn't have arugula, so I substituted crispy Romaine.  I also left out the shallot.  The salad was absolutely wonderful!  The mint added another level of freshness and the citrus vinaigrette was delicious.  I enjoyed the sweetness from the melon and the salty from the Feta.  Yummy!  I can't wait to make it again!  

Forgive my fancy, blurry photo!  I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but did snap a shot with my phone to share with a friend.  

Here is Ina's Recipe!

For the vinaigrette: 
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) 
¼ cup minced shallots (1 large) 
1 tablespoon honey 
½ cup good olive oil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 cups (4 ounces) baby arugula, washed and spun dry 
1/8th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes 
12 ounces good Feta cheese, ½-inch diced 
1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned

Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator. 

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately. Hope you enjoy this delicious salad as much as I did!