My MIL offered to come over today for a couple hours, and I jumped on it. T left for Chicago this morning and is on his way home now for a quick two days before leaving again on Sunday morning for Austin. You gotta feel bad for a guy who has to go to South x Southwest for work. Not! Next week also happens to be spring break for all my dear babysitters, so in the anticipatory context of pending lunacy, you might understand why I was thrilled to have a few extra hours this afternoon. I got some stuff done around the house and then went to the market, simply intending to purchase a couple basics like fruit, bread, etc. On my way into the garage, however, I saw that the EcoDetail car guys were offering a special on interior detail work at very good prices. Having been borderline mortified at the state of my backseat lately -it's like beavers in a sawmill back there- I took the plunge and dropped my car off. They said it'd be about an hour, and knowing that the grocery shopping wouldn't take nearly that, I looked around. Bloomingdales! What's a girl to do? I hauled ass up to the make-up counter and got some help. 35 minutes later, after much laughter, a tremendous exterior improvement and make-up I don't need but do kind of love, I finally made it to Whole Foods. You might think that's the end of the story, but it's not! At this point I really had a second wind in my sails so went off-list and started checking out the goods. People, RHUBARB! Mint that was not puny. Heirloom tomatoes (from Mexico yes (locavore guilt), but still, they looked as if they'd taste like tomatoes). Lemongrass. Everything called to me, and before I knew it, I was hell bent on making a lemongrass-celery gelato with minted rhubarb to go on top.
Was I having a retail therapy thrill? What happens to me at the make-up counter?
Anyway, it was a hell of a fun and productive two hours- I met up with myself again and it felt great. Time spent refilling our reservoirs is not time wasted. Unless you live an indulgent, prodigal life of self-absorption; then, perhaps you need to fill someone else's reservoir. Anyway, I came home and simply COULD NOT WAIT to start making the ice cream.
What? When was the last time I made ice cream? Much less lemongrass-celery ice cream. I was awash in enthusiasm (obvious, I know) and got to work as soon as I put the kids to bed. It's chilling now and so far, it is delish. In brief, I chopped three stalks of celery (leaves included) and boiled them with a chunk of bruised lemongrass and some celery seeds in just enough water to cover everything. When tender, I pureed with an immersion blender and then strained. In the meantime, I chopped some rhubarb and mint and cooked it over medium-low heat with sugar and a little lemon juice. I then made a custard of cream, milk, sugar and cornstarch, stirred in the celery juice and some toasted celery seeds. That's what's chilling. What I had left of the toasted celery seeds I stirred into the rhubarb compote. I can't wait to see how the final product tastes.
Tomorrow will be my refill-the-freezer-supply-of-scones making day, and I'll finally can that marmalade. Stay tuned.