Tag Archives: artisanal ice cream

homemade ginger ice cream…without an ice cream maker!

homemade ginger ice cream made by hand

i’ve been bewitched by food porn in the form of ice cream sandwiches. back in boston last week, i snatched the last issue of gourmet ice cream sandwichesgourmet from my house and spent parts of a long car ride and a plane trip devouring articles on chinese bbq in canada, mentally planning an extended stay at an organic farm outside beijing, and fantasizing about caramel. i was particularly attracted to the idea of homemade ice cream sandwiches, as depicted on the magazine cover to the right which entices me with its summery colors like a party dress at a bash in the hamptons with lusciously rich desserts from swanky catering companies. to drive the point home, there’s a huge section on homemade ice cream. and as if to prove the power of visual stimulation, there is currently homemade ice cream in my freezer right now. it’s slowly edging its way to the crystallization phase and then i will jump on it and break up those crystals, because i don’t have an ice cream maker. although in case you’re wondering, my birthday was last week and i am still accepting presents.

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secret supper at rambling restaurant: the candlelit rooftop moroccan feast

sunset on the rooftop

hooray! yesterday marked the occasion of the rambling restaurant: round two, and i’m happy to say that the evening felt like a great success for two major reasons. first off all, it didn’t rain. that’s always helpful for a rooftop dinner in london with no backup plan. secondly and most importantly, no one fell off the roof and ended up badly injured or dead. VICTORY!

the menu for the moroccan supper

happily, everything seemed to work out perfectly even beyond the absence of inclement weather and hospital visits. the fabulous moroccan menu was planned and executed to perfection by chef foodrambler and michelle, while i concentrated my efforts on transforming an empty bethnal green rooftop into a exotic and colorful yet also comfortable and functional moroccan themed dining space.  i attacked a pile of assorted cushions, rugs, and blankets, raided michelle’s flat for decorative items, and took a last-minute trip to the columbia road flower market for a end-of-market deal on a stunning bouquet of english peonies. despite a few moments of panic that there wouldn’t be enough seats or spoons or rugs before guests arrived, all turned out beautifully just in time to welcome our first diners.

it’s amazing what colorful cloths over well-loved coffee tables and patterned pillows and wovern rugs on a barren rooftop can do to transform a  space  into a warm and luxurious place to lounge. our guests had a full view of east london’s wildly varied architectural styles, with huge rectangular modern monstrosities looming over quaint brick townhouses and their cute circular chimneys and the sky overhead created a gorgeous shifting panorama of depth and color as the evening went on. but most importantly…such good food!

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welcome to the rambling restaurant, secret supper extraordinare

plates of lavender ice cream

hellloooooooo homemade lavender ice cream! where did this lovely dessert come from? i’ve just recently gotten to participate in something very exciting in the food world: secret suppers! after attending the salad club secret supper a few weeks ago and making the acquaintance of the lovely foodrambler, i got to assist in the launching of her secret supper last sunday:  the rambling restaurant. my excitement knows no bounds.

soo…i don’t really get it. WTF is a secret supper?

secret suppers are essentially a fusion of a restaurant and a dinner party; it’s a meal served to curious and adventurous diners in someone’s home or another unexpected location. they’ve been in existence in san francisco for years and have recently been growing in popularity in london, as evidenced by this article from the london paper that namechecks rambling restaurant! i’m so happy to be involved in helping to get one off the ground, especially with such a talented chef as the miss foodrambler.

okay. i get the idea.  so what’s with the secret thing?

well, the suppers are secret because it’s sort of a shady concept to be running a restaurant out of the home without permits and health inspections and all that boring stuff. as a result, people generally pay by a suggested donation rather than an established fee for meals and service to escape all those pesky legal ramifications. in addition, it’s secret because the location usually isn’t released until soon before the meal, both to protect the people behind the supper but more so to keep things exciting. isn’t it always better to add a little intrigue and mystery to your meal?

sweet! any other thoughts about secret suppers? i’m fascinated…really.

i personally think the most interesting part is exploring the space between restaurant meals  and dinner parties. it’s certainly a novel experience on its own to be served a meal in someone’s living room and to eat the food of an unestablished but clearly passionate chef (you don’t slave over the stove for strangers unless you reaaaally enjoy cooking). however, i find it most fascinating when you can push the boundaries and bring something more than the restaurant experience for the people venturing out to eat. for example, we divided the fifteen diners into three tables, which meant that everyone sat with people they didn’t know before. if you’re going to a secret supper and just sit with the people you came with, in some senses the social experience is as limited as going to a restaurant. when you encourage interaction with other diners, all of whom have taken the same leap of faith to eat unknown food with mysterious people in a surprising location, it adds an entire new element of community and interaction to the eating experience. below you see some perfect strangers  who will soon be dining companions…

diners at rambling restaurant

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mission photo album: humphrey slocombe

in tribute to the secret breakfast and the lovely folks at humphrey slocombe

cookies

i had to restrain myself from just grabbing a cookie.

rosepedal

i very much appreciate the commentary, as well as the creative spelling from someone who must love bikes.

s63000061

best ice cream flavor ever. and now for the best comment ever…

saltedlicorice

REALLY interesting flavor. i’m not a huge licorice fan, but not too turned off by this flavor because it didn’t have the sickening sweetness i usually dislike about licorice, but instead a serious salty intensity. i appreciate that they didn’t fuck around with this one.

and last, to drool over future purchases…

s6300008

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best breakfast ever…

..is the secret breakfast.  what is this secret breakfast, you ask?

i can’t tell you. duh. it’s a SECRET.

just kidding. i want to share this amazing concoction with the world. the secret breakfast is in fact an ice cream from the brilliant flavor geniuses over at humphrey slocombe, the new ice cream shop located a dangerous three blocks from my office in the san francisco mission district. the secret breakfast is icecream… with bourbon… and cornflakes.  ridiculous. sweet caramelized-y crunchy cornflake clusters in super creamy vanilla icecream swirled with bourbon. it’s just intense enough bourbon flavor to tantalize, but not so much that it leaves you gagging and shuddering like you just took a shot of drano. tastes like new orleans, according to chris ‘mr. mardi gras’ olson.

in addition to the secret breakfast, we had mcevoy olive oil ice cream (tastes like fruity pebbles!), vietnamese blue bottle coffee (possibly the best, creamiest, coffee ice cream i’ve ever had), and tried the cream cheese chocolate chip and the salt and pepper.  hell yeah. and not only is the ice cream kickass, but the people who work there are amazingly friendly and let you try tons of flavors. best of all, the place is named after mr. humphrey and mrs. slocombe from the british sitcom ‘are you being served’, which i used to watch in the middle of the night when there was nothing else on television. hey, at least i’m not a trekkie.

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