Teasings of Spring

My weekends have recently been reclaimed as weekends which has not been so in a very long time.  When attending college and working in the food service industry weekends become the time to work and make money, not a time for rest and relaxation.  Although I finished my studies in July I proceeded to work weekends until about a month ago.  Today I fully enjoyed having a Saturday off with the promise of a Sunday to follow and was even given some amazing weather to enhance the all around great feeling running through my veins.

In the morning I have a really hard time climbing out of my warm “nest” especially when I have the excuse of having worked until 1am the night before and not hitting the hay until almost 3.  Today my dreams of sleeping in till 11 were replaced by a loving wake up nudge of breakfast in bed by a boyfriend who knows the best way to make me arise in a pleasant mood.  So we enjoyed some over easy eggs, toast with apricot jam, OJ and some raspberry earl grey tea while deciding what to do with the beautiful day.

The first business to be taken care of after breakfast was the release of our feathered friends.  Normally they are kept in their pen due to the presence of the neighbors dogs but today we thought we’d be able to keep an eye on them while enjoying the weather.  When released the two dominant ladies of our small flock, Lucille and Marta, fought over the same scratching ground until they realized that there’s a big world out there and Lucille Two followed behind the in her typical follower fashion.

Chickies in the woods.
The three divas (from left to right: Marta, Lucille and Lucille Two.)
Sagan’s not a chicken but he’s enjoying the day on the deck with us as well.

Aaron and I began doing various activities on our own which is when I decided to try out our new ice cream maker.   It’s a Rival 1 quart maker that promises fresh ice cream or sorbet in only 25 minutes.  I’d been eyeing this machine at Tuesday Morning (my favorite stop for randomness) for about a month now and after a heavenly homemade ice cream experience on my birthday I decided to splurge.  I had gathered some quality ingredients  for this first batch: Homestead Creamery heavy cream and whole milk as well as whole vanilla beans which I have never used before.  I had been pleased to find that my favorite cook book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bitman had a whole slew of recipes which I will be experimenting with in the future but for today I wanted Banana ice cream so I took the regular old vanilla ice cream recipe and added one and a half bananas.

Vanilla Ice Cream (borrowed from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bitman)

*2 Tablespoons cornstarch

* 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, steeped in hot milk

*2 cups milk

*1 cup cream

*1/2 cup sugar

I also decide to make some whipped cream as I had never done it before and I had all this heavy cream left over.  For the whipped cream I added sugar to taste and then a little vanilla for flavor.  It really is amazing how easy and how worth it making your own whipped cream is!  The final product was a deliciously indulgent “lunch”.

Whipped cream! My wrist was a little tired but it’s totally worth it!
It’s done!  Check out the vanilla specks.

Homemade ice cream and whipped cream with bananas.

The rest of the afternoon I did a little cleaning and random crafting but the only thing I finished was a little woven paper basket.  I found the instructions on craftzine.com which calls for the use of a map.  I didn’t have a map so I used some 12″x12″ scrapbooking paper which resulted in a much smaller product but was good practice.  I’m not sure what to do with this creation but did find that it is the perfect size for tea bags.

Woven paper basket
Tea bag holder?




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