We broke out the ice cream maker for the first time this season. If you don’t have an electric ice cream maker, you should run to Williams Sonoma right now and get one. Ice cream made at home is infinitely better than most grocery store brands, and while I wouldn’t call it health food, at least you know what goes in.
This is one I have, which I love.
Be forewarned that in most cases, you can not pull together a batch of ice cream in an afternoon. There are usually a few steps, so you have to think ahead. During the summer, I keep my insert in the freezer so it’s always ready, otherwise it takes a day or two to freeze thoroughly.
Another piece of advice: BY FAR the cheapest place to find heavy cream is Sam’s. It’s $3.10 for a quart. That’s about half of the price at my local grocery. And it’s a national, not store or generic, brand. Pick up several. The expiration dates are usually pretty far off.
And while you’re there, you might also want to grab the super-pack of eggs because you’ll need a bunch of those, too.
Since everyone I know is in Italy this summer (really just two friends, but still, not me), I was in the mood for my favorite flavor of gelato- Stracciatella.
The Mississippi ain’t the Arno, but you work with what ya’ got.
Stracciatella Ice Cream (adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
¾ tsp vanilla extract
4 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bar
I don’t cook that much ethnic food at home, but after a weekend of less-than-healthy fare, we needed some growing food. On a night that we didn’t have a lot of time, when I knew were going to be outside late enjoying the company of our neighbors, I acquired random ingredients to saute over rice. I made this up as I went (remarkably measuring and noting, just in case it turned out great) and it was delicious.
Like the-neighbor-kid-who-eats-nothing-but-macaroni-ate-two-bowls good.
And thus I share:
Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T honey
1 t five spice powder
1 t powdered ginger
1/3 c orange juice (or orange-pineapple juice, which is what I had on hand)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
5 oz sliced shitake mushrooms
1 large head fresh broccoli, florets trimmed into bite-sized pieces
4 T soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 t cornstarch
Cooked white rice
The Wizard of Oz
Friday, June 8 at 5pm
Join the New Orleans Museum of Art and the The New Orleans Film Society as we present music, art making, and an outdoor screening of the classic film, The Wizard of Oz, on Friday, June 8th in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA. See below for the night’s scheduled events.
Because of the overwhelming success of NOMA’s past films (thank you!), we suggest you buy your tickets early. Online ticket sales end at 4pm on 6/8. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate.
Admission: $6 for adults : Children (17 & under), free : $3 for NOMA & NOFS Members (Members are allotted 4 tickets at the discounted rate.)
Due to the sculptures and the architecture, no outside food or beverages will be permitted. Multiple food vendors will be available for refreshments.
Please bring a blanket (recommended) or folding chair for seating.
The Wizard of Oz will be subtitled for the hearing impaired.
Schedule for the Night:
There was a time not long ago when I hated summer. HATED it. My kids are less than sixteen months apart, so for those early years with a newborn/infant, infant/toddler, toddler/potty-training toddler, potty-training toddler/preschooler the summer was miserable. It was exhausting to haul babies around in 110 degree heat indices. Vacations required the equipment equivalent of a major rock band tour. I would tick the calendar all the way to Labor Day.
And then it happened last summer. Parenting books may identify major milestones as walking, sleeping through the night, and potty-training, but the most significant finish line is this:
Being able to read a magazine while the kids are in the pool.
Sure, having a swim-capable child is one thing. But having a kid that can swim well enough that you don’t constantly have to keep eyes on him is another entirely. So last year, when I recognized that I could relax with the kids around water, my perspective on summer completely changed.
Summer is good.
The realization that my kids won’t be little much longer has set in over the last few months. The other day AG asked to borrow my flip-flops. Because they fit her.
And that scares the shit out of me.
There is a line in the sand approaching, where impressing the other gender will be more important than perfecting an underwater handstand, and where going for a drink won’t mean getting sno-balls.
I don’t know when that line is going to show up here, but it’s coming.
So on this, our first official day of summer, the work of creating memories begins. We will break out our Summer To-Do List and see how many things we can cross off. We do not fear the sun- that’s why they make hats and sunscreen and showers. We will concoct our own adventures, and sometimes, we will just be.
And we will hold on to each slippery day as long as we can, knowing that in just a few moments this summer will have passed, too.
Dude and I are headed for a big adventure this afternoon: The National Elementary Chess Championship in Nashville, Tennessee.
The kid loves chess. And in this day, who wouldn’t do everything in their power to encourage a seven year-old boy to pursue competitive chess??
Time out. I just googled “too much screen time” to see what research is out there on this subject. Holy shit. One Utah study found that children ages 8-18 spend 7 ½ hours a day in front of a screen. That’s almost as much time as most adults spend at work.
Anyone out there been to a chess tournament? It’s pretty frickin’ hilarious at this age. Most of the kids, like 95%, are boys. At our city tournaments, the little ones finish their matches way before the older kids, and because all ages compete in the same room, there’s an awful lot of free time for the first-graders. They usually end up running around outside, wrestling with each other, or whatever Lord of the Flies stuff they do to let out steam before the next round.
It’s basically tackle football interrupted by the occasional chess game.
Wonder how the fancy-pants mega-hotel is going to take to a herd of seven year-olds throwing balls around the lobby, because I’m pretty sure no one on Dude’s team can play chess without at least three fresh brush-burns.
So wish us luck. Send us good vibes. The word from our awesome chess coach is that this is the best crew of first-graders he’s seen in a while, so we have a good chance to bring home a big win.
And I’ll try to restrain myself from getting this to commemorate: