Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Friday, December 21, 2012

Peppermint Ice Cream


I've been more or less down for the count today with a nonstop headache, so my husband and son rose to the occasion and cranked the homemade ice cream I had planned for dessert tomorrow when we have a few guests. Peppermint ice cream, with hot fudge sauce! Yum!

I remember my aunt and uncle making peppermint ice cream every Christmas when the relatives gathered. It was such a treat. One year especially I recall. It was dark, and we cousins were all outside. I don't think it was very cold that year. Anyway, we were out, and suddenly there was a thump on the ground nearby. One of my sisters ran over and found a meteorite that had just fallen. It was about the size of a fist; a craggy, nobby piece of iron-like rock. She kept it for many years. I don't know what ever happened to it. 

My husband says it's a shame it got lost because meteorites are sought after and worth money now. His aunt and uncle had a big heavy one with a hole in the middle. They found it on a fence in one of their fields, where it had hit and melded around a post. I saw it once--they had it chained to their front gate to act as a weight so that the gate closed automatically when opened. It was easily a foot across. They were simple folk and seemed amazed when my husband told them it was valuable. A few years later it disappeared. Someone had stolen it.

Ah, well...  back to that peppermint ice cream.  I had a little taste before we put it into the big freezer to ripen overnight, and it was delicious!  Here's the recipe--my own, I might add

Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream

2 pints (1 quart) heavy whipping cream
2 quarts (half a gallon) half and half
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 dashes salt
about 1 cup crushed peppermint candy
1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)

Prepare in an ice cream freezer, according to your model's instructions.

 
It's based on my vanilla ice cream recipe and everything in that one is measured in two's, which makes it easy to remember:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

2 pints (1 quart) heavy whipping cream
2 quarts (half a gallon) half and half
2 cups sugar
2 tbsps. vanilla
2 dashes salt

Do be aware that a "dash" of salt means a tiny amount--one shake of the salt shaker--NOT 2 spoonsful of salt as my husband interpreted it once and ruined an entire batch of wonderful rich ice cream(The rest of us have never let him live that one down!)

This evening while I was lying on the couch, trying to distract myself from this dratted headache, we put on one of my favorite Christmas movies. It may even be top of the list--I have a few that I love, but this one is in a class by itself.

I'm speaking of The House Without a Christmas Tree starring Jason Robards and Mildred Natwick. I cannot praise this movie highly enough! Not only does it pair these two superlatively talented actors, but the script is true-to-life and poignant without being cloying, and the music by Arthur Rubenstein is almost painfully plaintive--beautiful and fitting. Lisa Lucas, who plays Adelaide, did a smashing job. (I rather wonder if the doll "Molly" by Pleasant Company/American Girls wasn't loosely based on this character.) Even the cut-paper collage artwork that opens and closes each chapter of the story is fascinating.

Lisa Lucas and Mildred Natwick
 The setting is a small town in 1946. I love Mildred Natwick's portrayal of the grandmother--she's the kind of grandmother I would have loved to have had myself. And Jason Robards is spot-on as the aloof father who harbors an anguish he's too broken to share.

Jason Robards

Since most of us have some level of dysfunction in our families somewhere, this moving and refreshing tale of healing is deeply satisfying without being in the least saccharine. I hope you'll try and watch it. It's available as a free download on various internet sites.

Tomorrow I'm going to bare my soul and tell you about my other favorite Christmas movie, one that really chokes me up. You'll never guess it, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit it! Tune in tomorrow...  

     

 

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