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Hello again, finally.

It feels so good to say that.

Thank you for your immensely kind comments last week, friends, and for waiting patiently while I plowed through a few deadlines. It’s always so nice to come back to this space after a little while away. It is also very nice, I hear, to sit on the couch with a good book and drink a beer. I hope I still remember how to do that. I also hope to clean the baseboards around our apartment sometime soon, because you would not believe how much dust those things can accumulate. Or maybe you would? Seriously. They’re like little tiny shelves - Barbie™-sized, almost - only instead of holding useful objects like tiny plates or tiny books, they hold tiny dirt.

Wow. It really is good to be back.

Now, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but my birthday took place recently, in the midst of all the hullabaloo. It was a week ago yesterday, and it was my thirtieth. I’m not sure how that could possibly be, but seeing as my birth certificate says 1978, I’ve decided to go with it. Anyway, I don’t really mind the thought of entering another decade. A number of people have told me that their thirties were a very peaceful time, mellow and forgiving, and I like the sound of that. I’m ready. I also think that my thirties might be the time for a pair of red heels. My grandmother loves red shoes - she says they go with everything - and I do have her genes, after all.

But what I really wanted to tell you about was what we ate that night, last Sunday night, the night of my birthday. The refrigerator was almost empty, so we decided to go to Cafe Lago. It was late when we got there, and the kitchen was closing, but we managed to grab an order of ravioli and a serving of lasagna, along with a glass of prosecco for me and a beer for Brandon. Our friend Carla was working that night, and she kept us company while we ate. But when our plates were cleared, she sneaked away - she’s very sneaky, that Carla - and a few minutes later, she emerged from the kitchen with a wide, flat bowl. Inside it were two halves of a grilled peach, topped with a scoop of honey ice cream.

Needless to say, we did not protest. We picked up our spoons and dug in. The peaches were warm and tender, having been cooked over apple wood until their juices went thick and sticky. They were lovely, perfectly late-summer, but in truth, the ice cream was even better. Sitting atop the fruit, it was melting quickly, forming a milky puddle at the bottom of the bowl, so we spooned it up like soup. Then we scraped the bowl. Even soft and half-melted, the ice cream was superlative: silky and delicate and surreally light, and faintly floral from the honey. I asked Carla how she had made it, and she smiled a little sheepishly. The recipe came from Alice Medrich, she said, and it was ridiculously easy. You just scald some milk, let it cool, stir in honey and salt and cream, and freeze it in an ice cream machine. Ba daa! The end. Happy birthday to me.

I made some yesterday, just to be sure that it really was that simple, and of course, it was. Which is why I am telling you about it today. So hurry up! Go make some. And while you’re at it, maybe grill a few peaches to go alongside? Or make a plum crisp? Or how about a cornmeal cake? Or no, wait, how about this: bake a batch of ginger cookies - the soft, chewy kind with a crinkly top - and turn them into ice cream sandwiches. I might even do that myself, come to think of it, if the couch doesn’t claim me first.

Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from Pure Dessert, by Alice Medrich

The original version of this ice cream calls for ½ cup honey, but I found that to be a bit too intense and sweet. I think, however, that it’s mainly a question of what type of honey you use. I used blackberry honey, which has a fairly strong flavor. If I had used something more dainty and mild, I think the result would have been more balanced. So, that said, I guess I would recommend starting with a bit less honey, no matter what type you use. Then taste and adjust to your liking.

½ cup whole milk
1/3 to ½ cup honey (see note above)
Slightly rounded 1/8 tsp. salt
2 ¼ cups heavy cream

In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer gently around the edges. Pour it into a medium bowl, and allow to cool completely. (This will prevent curdling when the honey is added.) Add the honey and salt, and stir well to dissolve the honey. Stir in the cream. Taste, and adjust the amount of honey as needed. Cover and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream maker. Then, before serving, store the ice cream in the freezer until hard enough to scoop, at least 3 to 4 hours.

Yield: about 1 quart


Anonymous blair said...

so, how is it you always know the perfect recipe to talk about at just the right time? Honey ice cream sounds like a perfectly perfect goodbye to summer. I'm pretty sure my kids would like to help say goodbye that way, I'm going to make this!

Hope you are well, 30(s) is everything you're told, and more. Happy birthday again! xo

10:18 PM, September 22, 2008  
Blogger ash said...

oh my, that sounds heavenly. Will simply have to try making it.

Love love love those photos too.

Happpy 30th!

10:18 PM, September 22, 2008  
Anonymous Emily J. said...

Bonne anniversaire! (Or 'Bonne fête!' as we are apt to say up here in the frozen north.) Needless to say, this recipe (and the blackberry frozen yoghourt) might actually be enough to tempt me to buy an ice cream machine, regardless of climate. It sounds simply delicious.

-Emily J.

11:13 PM, September 22, 2008  
Blogger Maggie said...

I've never commented here before, but your stories and photos always manage to bring a smile to my face - and make my stomach grumble. This one was no exception. Really, just lovely.

Welcome back. And happy, happy birthday.

11:40 PM, September 22, 2008  
Blogger lottie said...

i am saving this until such a day as i have an ice cream machine... and that is spot on re the thirties. i'm only two years in but already i am much happier with them than with my twenties. not that the twenties were bad at all, it's just that the thirties really are calmer. i think we know ourselves better, you know?

11:49 PM, September 22, 2008  
Blogger Astrid said...

I really have to get an ice cream maker!

12:38 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Victoria said...

Happy birthday, dear Molly. Sounds like your thirties are off to a rocking start. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

Pure Dessert is a lovely, lovely book. It was my choice as best new cookbook of 2007 to give at Christmas.

Anyway, many happy returns. I look forward to seeing how this delicious year unfolds for you.

1:08 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Gemma said...

Happy belated birthday. I am hitting 30 next year and if it truly is a bit calmer I'll be happy. You seem determined to make us all buy ice-crem makers but I will resist, I am strong (maybe). But ginger biscuits sound tempting, maybe I'll make some of those.

1:46 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

Honey ice cream is good, but grilled peaches are truly a bite of heaven! SOunds like a great meal!

4:03 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger heather smith jones said...

honey ice cream sounds too good to be true. i really wish we had an ice cream maker! i wonder if it could be put in a container in the freezer and stirred occasionally?

happy 30 :)

4:56 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Mel said...

Happy 30th Molly! I'm just a few years behind you, but have also heard 30's are calmer than 20's. I'll be gearing up for some calmer times by then too.

For my 28th birthday I am thinking of treating myself to an ice cream machine. Any reccomendations on a good brand?

So glad to have your posts back....

5:46 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Laurie said...

I love Pure Dessert! Great book. And the phrase "tiny dirt" makes me laugh. (Pre-parenting, when we lived in a lovely vintage apartment--I swooned over the built-in bookcases--the not-so-tiny dirt on all the moldings was the only thing I didn't like about it.)

Welcome to 30s. It's been good so far for me.

6:01 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Susan Spracher Macaluso said...

Oh, Molly! Welcome to your 30's! I turned 40 last November, and in retrospect, I can tell you that is when I finished all of my heavy lifting. If turning 30 is a cumulative of all that you learned in your 20's, your 30's will be all about practicing those lessons and feeling thankful that you know now what you didn't back then. You'll be making serious progress now, and getting to know yourself even better.

That Carla sounds like a pretty good friend! I'm going to have to go back to Target (I seem to live there) and buy an ice-cream maker. Oh....and if you wear an 8 1/2 I will send you my never worn, red stilletos. Yes. I bought them in my 30's...

6:08 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger alexandra's kitchen said...

sounds yummy. i once tried a honey goat cheese that was delectable. I am enjoying your column in BA every month. I laughed about the hot sauce-husband obsession line. i can relate all too well!

6:24 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger maggie said...

So simple and perfect...like many of your posts. Thanks for writing.

6:36 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

One of these days I really am going to have to buy an ice cream machine. Sounds delicious. Happy 30th! The 30s are as you've been told - enjoy them!

6:52 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I bought an ice cream machine over the summer and used it twice, but I haven't used it since I moved in August... this recipe might be just the thing to convince me to dig it out again. Welcome back!

6:54 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger hannah said...

you NEED those red heels. need. happy birthday lady.

7:02 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous lisa said...

Pure Dessert is such a great book, and honey ice cream with ginger cookies sounds fantatic!

7:30 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous mav said...

honey + ice cream. yes yes yes!!!! welcome to the 30's ... my whole life shifted when i turned 30. love it. big kisses, mav

7:30 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger anita said...

Happy birthday!
I adore Alice Medrich's book. That honey ice cream is especially delicious!

7:45 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy belated Bday, and thank you for sharing your treat of the peaches and ice cream delight. I recall the real gift of my thirties as the turning point in being more comfortable with self and much less concerned with outside approval. The view from one several decades ahead of you is that life just keeps getting richer. Enjoy!

7:47 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Well I'll be ...

I love the first photo so very much. And honey ice cream? It will go so well with so many fall and winter desserts! My ice cream maker has sat sad and lonely all summer long, nearly - this'll be a good way to get reacquainted.

And I hope you and that couch and that book get reacquainted soon too.

7:49 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger kgr said...

Happy Birthday to a fellow Septemberer! I've got my 34th on Thursday and I'll agree with Lottie that my 30's have been way better than my 20's. At 30 I ditched the old long time no good boyfriend and life improved immensely. At 30 it's easier to see things more clearly, know what's really important and what isn't worth the bother.

What is important today is to make this ice cream. I rarely make ice cream because I hate making the custard base. This looks so easy. Thank you!

Oh, and I have a tiny request since you always have the most awesome, and timely, recipes. Do you have any recommendations for zucchini bread?

7:49 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Oh, welcome back! Missed you. And happy birthday, Kiddo. 30 looks great on you!

8:28 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Hande said...

Congratulations. I bought my first pair of red shoes (I started with sneakers) with 28 and then gradually moved on to heels. Right now I have a pair of red peep-toe heels and another pair of red wedge sandals. They do go with everything (jeans as well as anything dressy) and I love them. Please do buy some for yourself!

8:44 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous amy h said...

Happy 30!

The ice cream sounds good. I usually make brown sugar ice cream, but this one sounds like a nice change.

9:24 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Lizzie said...

well, firstly, happy 30! and secondly, as soon as you mentioned a ginger cookie icecream sandwich, i nearly died. it sounds WAY too good to be true! i must give it a try. beautiful photos, as always, i might add.

9:38 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger ღღ Š î $↕ Ŧ ۞ ღღ said...

Happy birthday
This blog is very nice.
Bye Sisifo

9:42 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Just Jen said...

Happy birthday! I think 30(s) are great hope its a time thats as good to you as it has been to me. And wow this post, so worth the wait, honey ice cream and the idea of ginger ice cream sandwiches. AMAZING!

Again happy birthday!
Oh and you should go for it with those red shoes.

10:03 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger chef-renee said...

Molly, Ice cream is nice, but if you stick with the beer, before long you wont see the dust.

Nice to have you back!


10:16 AM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Warm Bunny said...

Hello again! Just wanted to share another blog your readers might enjoy...


11:28 AM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Well happy belated birthday! What a cute birthday dessert surprise. Honey ice cream sounds magnificent...especially with the ginger snaps. I'm so glad you enjoyed your birthday!

1:09 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Beth said...

Happy belated Birthday. I know you will love your 30's.

As for the honey ice cream, it is one of my favorite things. And I can't wait to try it w/the ginger cookies. Thanks for the idea.

2:00 PM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Gracia said...

Poor us without an ice cream maker... I'd love some of that ice cream!

PS: So glad you're back, Molly.

2:59 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Sarah McColl said...

your grandmother is right about the red heels. you'll never regret it -- a perfect birthday present to yourself.

3:10 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Tea said...

Happy b-day, my dear.

I'm of the school of thought that any age is a good age for red heels...go for it!

3:20 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger nicole said...

Gorgeous photos, as per usual ...

I deep-cleaned my apt. last weekend you're right: baseboard dust is sort of ridiculous. And also scary.

Hope your bday was great.

3:22 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Jillian said...

Happy Birthday Molly! I just wanted to let you know I made the banana bread + the pomodori al forno over this past weekend... The banana bread was the smoothest, moistest banana bread i've ever had...It has definitely earned a spot in my regular baking rotation. However, late Sunday night when my boyfriend finally got out of lab, we shared a late night meal of the tomatoes on french bread with goat cheese as suggested... After the first bite, he exclaimed, "I didn't think it was possible, but I think I love you more now." I suggested he direct his love to you, but he was having none of it. So thank you! I loved them too-- Next gathering I have, I plan on serving them, along with your vinegar roasted shallots, both on french bread with goat cheese...

5:26 PM, September 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just a quick question. am i missing something, why do you scald the milk and then let it oool completely? does something happen when you scald it? thanks!

6:38 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

welcome back!
and welcome to your 30s. you are going to absolutely love it.

7:25 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Foodie said...

Welcome to the 30's, Molly. That's wonderful that you're embracing this new decade---I dreaded it when I turned 30. I'm still in my 30's, and I must say that this is a fabulous decade of life. Just wait...you'll see.

Mmmm, honey ice cream. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Have you tried the honey lavender ice cream at Molly Moo's in Wallingford?

7:48 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger shari said...

oh molly. so glad you're back. i've been wanting to try a recipe from pure dessert for sometime now. how wonderful it would be to use the honey that is produced on this farm where we live! enjoy your 30's. i find them to be quite wonderful. happy bday again. xox ps: adore the photos.

5:28 AM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger kmb said...

Happy 30th! My birthday is/was the following day. Virgo foodies unite! :) The 30's are tons of fun and the food & wine only seem to get better. Enjoy!

ps - Is there any particular kind of honey you recommend?

7:16 AM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger jackie said...

I bought myself an ice-cream maker (Cuisinart) in August, because it was my thirtieth birthday! And I already had red heels :). Thanks for the recipe, it looks delightful.

7:25 AM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger Cheryl A said...

You definitely need those red shoes! And then some more. Happy Birthday!

This ice cream will be a perfect next try for my current ice cream making obsession.

10:15 AM, September 24, 2008  
Anonymous Erin said...

Happy 30th! The months until mine are rapidly dwindling, but I am looking forward to it. Age brings some really wonderful things, it is refreshing to see others share that view of things.

I have a cabinet full of raw honey I helped harvest and this will be the perfect way to use it!

1:21 PM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger kickpleat said...

hope you had a wonderful 30th birthday (trust me, the 30s are awesome). oh, and that ice cream, yes please. make mine a double scoop!

2:33 PM, September 24, 2008  
Anonymous EB said...

Welcome back! And yes, your grandmother is correct. They go with everything... but I may be biased... I mean I do own 11 pairs of red heels... but that's just me.

4:05 PM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger The Fabulous One said...

Jeez, Molly, make a boy wanna go buy an ice cream maker, why dontcha?

6:39 PM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger Lael said...

So nice to have you back, Molly, and happy belated birthday! As usual, your recipe and photographs appeal to me. As with all great ice cream recipes, I'll forward this on to my mom, who is in the lucky possession of an ice cream maker.

6:47 PM, September 24, 2008  
Anonymous wahine13 said...

My man is going to get love handles! While churning the weekly batch of blackberry frozen yogurt, our sixth batch this year, the ice cream maker paddle broke. The replacement arrived in the mail yesterday. And today, a quick and beautiful honey ice cream recipe appears on orangette...kismet! Happy birthday and thank you for the luscious recipes!

6:52 PM, September 24, 2008  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I'm a bit of a science nerd, but I can't help but wondering: why heat the milk, if only to cool it before proceeding withe the rest of the recipe?

7:54 PM, September 24, 2008  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh this looks delicious! I just tried making ice cream for the first time this week, and honey is one of my favorite ingredients. I know what flavor I'm going to be making next!

8:29 AM, September 25, 2008  
Blogger Lindsey said...

oh wow perfect timing! i was thinking about making some cornbread, and the suggestion about the cornmeal cake plus the ice cream... well let me tell you, they were amazing together. it's a naughtier play on a trusted pairing. thanks!

8:53 AM, September 25, 2008  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

This honey ice cream sounds like a great special occasion treat. Thirty was a banner year for me! I got pregnant around the time of my b-day, got married, and had my son--so far, my 30s have been fabulous! Enjoy, and go get yourself those red shoes!

12:35 PM, September 25, 2008  
Blogger Maria said...

Welcome back! Honey ice cream sounds fabulous! Will have to try this one for sure! Happy Bday to you too!

2:13 PM, September 25, 2008  
Blogger Lynn said...

Boy that ice cream sounds heavenly. Happy Belated!! I am way past my 30's and into the beginning of the 40's, specifically 41 this coming Tuesday. Definitely get the red shoes!

5:34 PM, September 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man, your 30s will be the best ever - you have no idea how good it will be. you will be at your most potent and everything will be possible.

8:25 PM, September 25, 2008  
Blogger Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Just found your Honey ice cream recipe and I'm going to email it to my brother the ice cream maker. Can't wait til he makes it and I can try it.

2:16 PM, September 26, 2008  
Blogger mapgirl said...

Happy birthday!

So why does honey make the milk curdle?

2:17 PM, September 26, 2008  
Anonymous emily said...

that sounds like it could not be easier. might be the perfect accompaniment to the apple galette i've been wanting to make.

(and do you know that all of my shoes are red? heels, sandals, dansko clogs, everything. nothing like a pair of red shoes to put a smile on the face.)

6:57 AM, September 27, 2008  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Happy birthday! I can't wait to try this honey ice cream with two different honeys. I've got a great pecan honey and an equally fabulous lavender honey. It will be so interesting to be able to taste the differences in the ice creams!

5:00 PM, September 27, 2008  
Blogger Zephyr said...

Happy Birthday!
your blog is charming, touching and inspiring...i've been reading around and looking. Have fun with the new camera.

6:40 PM, September 27, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi all -

Thank you for the birthday wishes! So sweet. Thank you, thank you.

A few of you had questions about the procedure of this recipe, so here goes:

As for why the milk is scalded and then cooled, Alice Medrich doesn't really explain. But from what I understand, the scalding does something chemically to the milk, such that the finished ice cream will have smaller ice crystals (and therefore will be smoother) than it would be if you didn't scald the milk. I have also heard that scalding destroys enzymes in the milk that would keep it from thickening properly in the finished ice cream. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. But the smaller ice crystals thing makes pretty good sense to me.

As for the honey, I don't know for certain whether honey will curdle milk. Medrich says that it could, which does make sense, since honey is acidic, but I haven't seen it happen myself.

Mel, re: ice cream machines, I use a Lello Junior. It ain't cheap, but it's been worth the money! I also hear that Cuisinart makes a good one.

9:09 PM, September 27, 2008  
Blogger Deanna said...

This has nothing to do with this entry, it has to do with your/brandon's chickpea salad. (I make it ALL THE TIME.) Today, for the first time, I steamed a cob of corn in the microwave, cut off the kernels, and added it to the chickpeas, and it was so good, that i wanted you to know about it. Having sweet corn in there also helps balance/justify the heaps of garlic and lemon i put in, as it serves as a nice counterpoint to the sharpness. So, try it! (While there's still fresh corn!)

3:04 PM, September 28, 2008  
Anonymous Diana said...

Have belated birthday! Sounds like it was a nice, simple, perfect-for-30s celebration.

6:19 PM, September 28, 2008  
Anonymous sandra said...

1978 is a good year :) that ice cream photo, yum!

11:56 PM, September 28, 2008  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

welcome back :-)

12:14 PM, September 29, 2008  
Anonymous glutenfreeforgood said...

Gosh, does that ice cream look good! I'm going to have to figure out a way to make honey ice cream dairy free. Hmmm?

1:23 PM, September 29, 2008  
Anonymous Maija said...

Red shoes, yes!!! I have loved to death my red clogs - and I'm not a red-wearing person (it doesn't go well right next to my face). Red high heels are just so much more exciting than clogs, too. Much more likely to be appreciated by the husband ;D And, that particular brand makes some awfully tempting styles, too.

I'm a month or so from 31, and I must say I do NOT miss my 20's. Like many said before, life just gets easier, money, jobs, love - it all makes more sense.

12:25 PM, September 30, 2008  
Anonymous Julie T. said...

Happy Birthday, Molly. I hope somebody gave you a copy of "29 & Counting: A chick's Guide to Turning 30," (because I wrote it!), because it will confirm what you already suspect: your '30s are all good. You're happily married, write a successful blog, have a column in a big glossy magazine...and you still, judging from your photo, look all of 23! What more could you want? And it will only get better. I'm in my mid '40s now. Trust me, child...

9:14 PM, October 01, 2008  
Blogger PetiteKitchen said...

Happy Birthday. Honey ice cream. I will HAVE to try that.

11:56 AM, October 12, 2008  
Blogger Meander said...

Oh it has been so long since I've read your lovely blog and didnt realize until just now how much I've missed it terribly. Love the new Polaroid picture format - excellent idea! And that ice cream. . .yummmmmmm.
Hope you had a gorgeous birthday and that all you special day wishes came true!
Ciao darling!

4:54 AM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Jessie said...

Made this ice cream the other night, it was awesome.

Thanks for the great recipe!

1:39 PM, October 25, 2008  
Blogger Doris said...

Having just found your blog: with all the delicious links, how do I ever catch up?

1:38 PM, November 03, 2008  

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