Thursday, September 13, 2007
Ice Cream Bribery
I'm a mean mother. There's no two ways about it. Ask any of my kids and they will confirm it. Mean, cruel, heartless to the bone. Yes, I gave in and let them have a puppy (now known as The Horrible Little Dog). Yes, I OK'd a Nintendo system, opening up the gates of Hades into my family room. Yes, I sat in the rain through many baseball games and swim meets. But I'm still a horrible mother. Why, you ask?
I have never given a child of mine money for the ice cream man. Never. Not once.
Around here the first sign of summer has nothing to do with sunshine, or vacation. The true harbinger of summer is the evening siren call of the ice cream man, driving around with an amplifier mounted on his car playing an annoying, tinny version of Turkey in the Straw or a ragtime tune. Kids are conditioned with a Pavlovian response - as soon as they hear this tune they automatically turn to Mom and whine, "Can I have money for an ice cream? Please, please, pleeeeeeeaaase?"
And I have never said yes. What I've said is, "We've got popsicles in the freezer. You may have one of those." Or when feeling particularly frugal I put juice or yogurt into popsicle molds and let the kids have those. They weren't impressed. Their friends were running off with fistfuls of cash to buy frozen treats from Ice Cream Joe and they were eating frozen, icy yogurt pops. Euww. No, not a good mother at all.
But lately I've been thinking about the future, contemplating how I'll spend my final days. Will my children take the first opportunity to send me to a far off nursing home where I'll spend the remainder of my life sitting in a hallway, alone, talking to myself, and accosting random stranger, hoping they've come to visit me?
With such a grim vision in front of me, I've mended my ways. No, I still don't give the kids money to chase down the ice cream man, but I did make Drumsticks, an ice cream truck staple. Homemade peanut butter ice cream in a sugar cone, dipped in semi-sweet chocolate, sprinkled with chopped peanuts. With a bribe like this I'm sure I won't spend my final years alone in a nursing home. I'm positive the kids will visit once in a while. Won't they?
adapted from Ice Cream! by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson
2-1/4 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 cup (250 g) smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (150 g) extra-fine sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz (150 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (30 g) dry roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
8 ice cream cones
Combine the milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir till the sugar dissolves then add the peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spoon into an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Have a few glasses ready to hold the cones upright. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, being careful not to let any water or steam get into the chocolate. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Working quickly, scoop the ice cream into the cones. Spoon the chocolate over the top, sprinkle with chopped nuts and place cones in the glasses. Freeze for 15 minutes, then play Turkey in the Straw and watch the kids come running!