On the one hand, I have planned to purchase a counter-top ice cream maker for years now. Literally years. We have an old fashioned ice cream maker, the kind that you hand crank (as in, to crank). We have made cracking good ice cream with that thing, and in cold weather, too. We're no sissies. Yet I longed for the ability to make ice cream on a whim and without worrying my prince of a husband, since the cranking, past the first few minutes, is beyond me. Not that I'm some delicate flower, but really, our ideal ice cream making time is when we have a bunch of strapping sons and sons-in-law around to take a whack at the cranking.
I'm not sure why it took me, the queen of commerce, years to decide to buy this relatively modestly priced luxury. But on Saturday, the day before a dinner party, I ventured forth to Bed, Bath, Barroom, Barrel, Buggery and Beyond, and found it. It shone like a city on a hill, the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, a multifunction ice cream maker which makes frozen yogurt, ice cream, sherbet, sorbet or frozen drinks in just 20-30 minutes! and it has a 1.5-quart double-insulated freezer bowl, an automatic mixing arm, an easy-lock transparent lid, and an instruction and recipe book!
Too bad I brought the shiny new kitchen artifact home and did not open the box nor read the instructions. If I had, I would have found out that you have to freeze the double-insulated freezer bowl before you can make ice crea, which can take from 6 to 22 hours. 22 hours! My God. What about people who don't plan ahead? Didn't they think of that?
Well, I froze my freezer bowl for 6 hours starting on the morning of my Sunday family dinner, but said bowl wasn't sufficiently frozen to actually make sorbet out of the delicious concoction I had prepared (blueberries, orange zest, orange juice, simple syrup). What we had, then, was really more along the line of a super blueberry slushy. It kind of rocked, actually, because we ate it with the best brownies* on the planet Earth. We inhaled the brownies, everyone's lips were blue, we were satisfied.
*Melt 1 stick butter with 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat. Add 1 c. sugar, 2 eggs, and a snort of vanilla. Beat it. (just beat it.) Add 1/4 c. flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Pour this confection into a buttered and floured 8 inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 or so minutes. Katharine Hepburn is said to have originated this recipe. Whatever.