Well, I hadn’t intended to take a whole four months off for a summer vacation, but there it is. I did. Lest you think I was traveling the world or hanging around in some quiet resort, I will tell you that my summer started in June with a wedding. My younger daughter got married and I was her official wedding planner. I was relieved when she and her fiancé finally asked for help back in March. Fortunately, she was definitely not a Bridezilla, though I was concerned when she called me at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum at 2:30 p.m., asking me about what bra she should wear since she was at Dillard’s and wanted to buy a new one. The wedding was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. the same day. Her sister and I were already at the museum cutting up Costco flowers. However, the ceremony only started 10 minutes late. Our photographer assured us that most weddings start about 30 minutes later than planned, so I figured we did well!
I anticipated a migraine afterwards, but only got a cruddy summer cold. July passed, with babysitting grandchildren, a short visit from a relative, a binge-watch of Sons of Anarchy (excellent!), and lots of hemming and hawing about what to write about when I finally did decide to be more productive. August had me painting my bedroom and closet and enjoying a binge-watch of Orange is the New Black (OUTSTANDING!).
I ended up with a few yards of shell-pink silk shantung leftover from the wedding dress I made. So, I then spent a few weeks debating about opening a shop on Etsy, which I will probably do eventually. My goal there is to sell elegant tooth fairy pillows and whatever else I feel is necessary to make. I knit, crochet, embroider, as well as sew. Why not join the trillions of other crafty people on Etsy? Indeed…
Back in April, I was asked to submit an article to a local glossy magazine that was doing a June spread on local DIY bloggers. I didn’t really consider myself a DIY blogger, but I figured I’d be game for the opportunity to write something. Foolishly, I was under the impression that what I wrote would be printed. Sure, it would be edited. I could live with that. I had a phone interview, then I whipped up a peppy little article about the five steps involved in making a homemade ice cream sauce. A photographer came to my house, set up lighting and took MANY photos. He told me there would be fact-checking. I asked if I would be able to read what they wanted to print, but he hedged about that and, alas, nothing happened in that department.
That is why I only have one grandchild listed in the article and my cookbook’s title (as well as this blog) was printed as “Cooking for Halflings and Little Monsters” three times. I think the phone interview became conflated with the writing, where I know I said something about little children. In the end, I figured I got off easy regarding typos/errors, so I didn’t mention it. I was grateful for the visits to my blog. I was able to attend a launch party where Bob and I wandered around in perfect introvert form, wondering how soon we could leave and where we could go for dinner since the appetizers at this party were certainly not stellar. I wanted to type up my original article here, maybe because people who write usually get attached to whatever they write and resent it when absolutely none of it is used. And I’m pretty sure all the other bloggers ended up with the same situation I did. I guess it’s a matter of space and word counts, but then why ask a blogger to write an article if you don’t plan to use any of it?
DIY Ice Cream Sundae Sauce
My husband is an ice cream fanatic. He would eat it every single day if he could, but then he’d have to worry about cholesterol, sugar, and excess weight more than usual. The only time he temporarily lost his taste for his favorite frozen treat was when he worked for Creamland Dairies here in Albuquerque in the 1970s—freedom to eat as much ice cream as you want on the job gets old sooner than you might think (the annual ritual of preparing the dairy’s Pumpkin Pie flavor was an almost traumatic event!). After he left the job, however, he quickly recovered and rediscovered his great passion. He loves most any flavor with few exceptions. But he also appreciates the beauty of a good quality vanilla: the perfect medium for the creation of magnificent sundaes.
During our 27-year marriage, we’ve purchased many jars of luxury ice cream sauces: we’ve dabbled in chocolates, fudges, caramels, and fruits. We’ve sampled more generic brands, as well. A rather low point came when we experimented with shell-type sauces, but some inconsistent quality and a careful look at the scary, artificial ingredients listed on the bottles led me to start creating my own sauces. It’s nice to be able to pronounce everything you consume. As expected, a DIY sauce costs less to make and provides you with a delicious sense of satisfaction. This particular sauce will keep well in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks; it’s also excellent to serve with cakes, cookies, or dip your favorite fruits for a “healthy” treat. If silk satin were edible, it would taste like this.
What else will you need? Ice creams (or frozen yogurts) in whatever flavors you like, chopped nuts, chopped fruits, whipped cream…keep it simple or make your sundaes fancy!
Here’s how my (peppy little) article was rewritten:
Astrid Tuttle Winegar’s husband could eat ice cream everyday. Of course, it’s not a healthy thing to do, so he doesn’t. But that doesn’t entirely quell his love for the stuff. “During our 27-year marriage, we’ve purchased many jars of luxury ice cream sauces: we’ve dabbled in chocolates, fudges, caramels, and fruits,” Winegar says. But once Winegar noticed the artificial ingredients in lots of the concoctions, she decided to make her own, including this sauce recipe, which makes about two cups and can keep in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
I still like mine better.
Here’s the ice cream sauce recipe for you. I took a photograph of the article and cropped the photos, so please be advised that these photos are a bit grainy.
Silk Satin Ice Cream Sauce
2 ounces white chocolate
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-72% cacao)
Chop the chocolates into ½” chunks.
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Place in a 1½-quart saucepan along with the prepared chocolates.
Cook over medium heat until bubbly and the chocolate has melted, whisking frequently.
Turn heat to lowest setting and cook 10 minutes, uncovered. Whisk a few times.
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Turn off heat; mix in vanilla. Cover and let stand 30-45 minutes. Stir and serve.
Cover and chill leftovers; reheat slowly. Makes about 2 cups.
(Bob got to eat this sundae later on, after adding some of the condiments pictured on the side.)