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A brief culinary interlude: Lavender vanilla ice cream

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m fully aware that dessert is not a paleo concept. In any case, here’s another recipe. :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Sweetener to taste (I used about 8 packets of Truvia, powdered in a coffee grinder, but I’m sure a bit of honey or soaked, pulverized dates would work well and be more paleo)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 TBSP vanilla extract
  • A few drops of food grade lavender essential oil OR 2 TBSP dried edible lavender

If you are using the essential oil:

  • Whisk the eggs for a minute or so
  • Add the sweetener and salt and whisk until eggs and sweetener are combined
  • Add the egg-sweetener mixture to the cream, whisking all the while
  • Add the vanilla while continuing to whisk
  • Add the lavender essential oil (a drop or two at a time – it’s very strong stuff), while – you guessed it – whisking away
  • When the mixture tastes good to you, pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

If you are using the dried lavender:

  • Heat the cream, sweetener, salt, and lavender over medium heat until just simmering
  • While cream is heating, beat the eggs
  • When the cream is simmering, take a half cup of it and slowly pour it in a very thin stream into the eggs, whisking all the while
  • Very slowly, pour the egg mixture back into heated cream while continuing to whisk
  • Switch to stirring with a wooden spoon! (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?!) Stir the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon (google “custard recipe” for more info on how to do this). Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil, or it may curdle.
  • Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and strain it into a bowl to get rid of the lavender flowers and any bits of solid egg
  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature
  • Stir in the vanilla
  • Pour the cooled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Notes:

You can separate the egg yolks from the whites and just use the yolks. You can also add more egg yolks.

You can use lemon juice instead of lavender, if you are in the mood for lemon-vanilla ice cream.

This ice cream freezes pretty solid once it has been in the freezer for any amount of time. If you plan to eat some, take the container out of the freezer a half hour beforehand, and allow it to soften a bit.

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NYC Paleo Community Not Actually Hipster Douchebags. Plus: a farm tour.

February 15, 2010 4 comments

After my previous post lamenting my lack of contact with the apparently thriving though hidden-in-plain-sight NYC Paleo community, a bunch of you posted contact information and the link to the meetup group. Many thanks!

Of course, then there was the fear that anyone featured in the fashion pages of the Times would have to be a “Crazy-Ass New York Hipster Douchebag,” but I was taught you should never judge a book by its appearance in a NY Times lifestyle article, so…

One-eyed as I am for the next few weeks, I decided to man up and do the proper research – all in the name of science, of course. I joined the meetup group, and as soon as I got the opportunity (this past Saturday), I signed up for a combination meatshare/farm tour. (Sadly, I had to miss the potluck they held later that night.)

The Paleo Peeps

Maybe it was destiny. Even though I boarded the Metro-North train at a completely different stop and stepped onto a random car from the platform, the first thing I saw was the leader of the hipster douchebags himself, John Durant, talking to a bunch of friendly looking WAPFers and an airedale about the high fructose composition of agave nectar. So I did what any natural-born introvert would do: I sat behind them and edged my way into the conversation with a mention of liver toxicity.

It turns out that they’re an eclectic bunch, a motley crew of meat-eating misfits, if you will. A few of them may be hipsters, but some of them are geeks. The rest form a ragtag assortment of brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses, and criminals. Phew! That’s a relief!

I had some great conversations with a bunch of my fellow day trippers, and they truly did come from all over the city (and New Jersey) and varying walks of life. Some are definitely a little more extreme than others, but all them are interesting. Unfortunately, I can only remember one or two of their names, though I did take down some exciting Ethiopian recipes from a husband and wife who offered me jerky on the train. (I actually brought my own jerky. Somehow, I feel like we all brought our own jerky. Except for the raw paleo guys, who I will assume were either fasting or carrying raw, blood steak strips somewhere on their person. But I digress.)

The Farm Tour

The farm tour was AWESOME. We visited Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring, and it was beautiful. The barn was red. The fields were blanketed in snow. An unseen rooster crowed every so often, but the air held a wide-open stillness that you never experience in the city.

I’ve never seen a barn up close. Here it was, tall, red, open to the air, with cows on one side and goats and sheep on the other. They were all obviously content and healthy. The barn smelled good – sweet like hay. So I guess that Joel Salatin quote is true, farming should be “aromatic and aesthetic.”

One of the farmers, Ken Kleinpeter, gave a talk and question and answer session about the farm, pasture-based farming, sustainability, and the business and politics involved in farming. I cannot emphasize enough how highly intelligent and experienced this man is. Also motivated. He told us about how small business farmers are not just standing idly by while factory farming destroys the local economy along with our health and the last remaining topsoil. They are studying the laws, innovating around them, and getting meetings with politicians to change (or restore) the food system. This is heartening. The co-organizer of the NYC Paleo meetup group, Melissa McEwen (also not a hipster douchebag), wrote more about the experience on her blog, Hunt Gather Love.

We also watched him feed a pair of shaky 2-day old lambs from a bottle. They were the most adorable things ever, and I’m sure they’ll be delicious when they grow up.

Bonus! When the time came to pick up the lamb from the meatshare, Ken GAVE US SLABS OF FATBACK FOR FREE. It’s such an unpopular piece of pig that he has tons of it languishing away in his freezers. We jumped on it like hungry wolves on bacon. The next day, I rendered a jar of healthful, amazing lard.

All in all, an excellent and productive meetup. I plan to meet more of these people at the next available opportunity, and maybe by that time I’ll remember to write down all their names.

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My Paleo Life

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

What with this (rarely updated) blog and Twitter, I am suddenly so connected. I’ve made contact with so many interesting people, including the NYC cavefolk, whom I am scheduled to meet on Saturday.

Meanwhile, I just had laser surgery done on one eye, so reading text-heavy research has fallen a bit to the wayside for now.

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Me, the tool user

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

When you purchase a mini-trampoline online, I expect it would be useful to know before you pay that the assembly instructions call for 3 able-bodied adults to assemble the thing. Girls who are 4’10″ living with two 70-year olds need not apply.

It seems I have neither the height nor the weight to assemble a mini-trampoline with nothing but myself and my wits.

It took me, my wits, a 20 lb dumbbell, a 25 lb dumbbell, and a 10 lb sledgehammer.

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My Bridget Jones Life

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Currently reading “The Two Income Trap” and terrifying myself.

Meanwhile, within the space of one year, my parents have progressed from conveniently forgetting they made me promise never to date anyone I met online to telling me that single, childless women actually do quite well in life.

It’s liberating to know they’ve given up on grandkids as well as the irrational hope that I won’t die alone.

Next, I shall read a book about the failure of the genome project. It’s like bus bunching; the NYPL always delivers my top ten most depressing books-on-hold at the same time, while my requested copy of David Sedaris’ latest languishes in the hands of someone just a little faster on the catalog search.

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Link…

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

On the subject of iodine and minerals, here are some of Matt Metzgar’s interesting thoughts.

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

idat

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