Every kid has that relative. The one who kind of inadvertently cherry picks them as the favorite. It's not on purpose....or at least that's what you can tell your siblings......it just is. Maybe it was because I was the first grandchild. Maybe it was because I was a girl, and my Poppy raised two boys. Maybe it was because deep down he knew I'd be doomed to inherit all of his bizarre allergic reactions. I like to think it's because I was born with tack sharp wit and wisdom. But I also like to think if you eat standing up the calories don't count. So....grain of salt....
Perhaps the most indulgent thing I remember were those trips to the ice cream parlor. A good old fashioned parlor with a black and white checkered floor and red curly chairs. Poppy would sneak me down to the shop with just him. He'd pick me up so I could see that rainbow of flavors to choose from. I'd look....and look.......but I had a favorite. Coffee Ice Cream with Raisinets. So I'd get it. And he'd let me. Without telling me that it was gross. Without telling me I was too young for coffee. With nothing but a smile and a laugh.
You know, once when I was on a field trip to Stew Leonard's my Poppy was working for UI there. He came over to say hello and bought my whole class ice cream! Tell me that's not like the coolest grandpa ever? I only got 10 years with my Poppy but I'm grateful for every one of them. I'd like to think he'd be real proud of what I've done since then. I mean....the man didn't meet an ice cream flavor he didn't like so he's got to be a little impressed. So today we do what most people do with nostalgia.......we add alcohol to it.
OH MAN........QUIT YOUR BLUBBERING AND GO GET:
- 1/2 cup of chocolate- Chips are the easiest to melt in the microwave. Otherwise use a bar and chop it up before you nuke it. I used bittersweet...like my memories.
- 1 cup of coffee liqueur
- custard mix- You're going to make this the day before. We want it nice and chilled. We've got sneaky plans that require science. If you click this link it will take you to the recipe and rules of Custard Club.
The ingredients you'll need for said custard are:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
a medium to large sized bowl with 4 egg yolks, scrambled and afraid
- Heat up your raisins in your coffee liqueur until it starts to bubble for 30 seconds and then take the pot off the heat. Allow it to cool and then chill for a couple of hours.
- Strain the raisins out of the liqueur. Notice how it's turned into this silky coffee syrup? I know what you're thinking. And you're right. Coffee liqueur syrup would be OUTSTANDING on some pancakes. That's why we get along so well.
- Melt your chocolate in the microwave stopping every 10-20 seconds to stir it. My microwave is run by a squirrel running on a wheel so it takes a while. But it's the shiniest and prettiest microwave you've every seen. So I went with form over function on that one. Player 2 just hates that. If yours is normal than probably less than a minute will do it. Good for you.
- Whisk your warm, melted chocolate into your cold custard mix and watch as magic happens. Don't freak. The cold custard is going to seize up the chocolate. So it's not going to fully incorporate. Your ice cream will look more like speckled vanilla than chocolate. In any other scenario if your chocolate seized like this you'd be all like......"NOOOOO! CHOCOLATE NO!!!!WHY?????CHOCOLATE WHY???????!!!!" But we are looking for a million tiny chocolate candies suspended in our ice cream. I guess this could technically be considered science, but when I can't explain things in a scientific way I cite magic as the reason instead. I'm very 14th century that way.
- Add your coffee liqueur syrup into the mix and whisk until it has befriended every single one of those million tiny candies. It's running for the mayor of Flavor Town and every vote counts.
- Pour your mixture into that awesome ice cream machine you went out and bought yourself for Christmas. I want a deep fryer but we are already at calorie code red in this house. It smells like an ice cream shop here. At all times. You try to resist it, man. I mean....I have freaking toppings. All of them. Always. Rough life I got.
- Turn on your machine and sing "12 Days Of Christmas" until you realize that you've had all of your Maids a-Milking where there's supposed to be Lords a-Leaping and just forget the whole mess of a freaking song anyway. Let's just go with "Dominic The Donkey" instead and do a jiggity-jig until the ice cream thickens up and looks ready for some juicy, boozy raisins! Then add those raisins and let them mix in for a few seconds before turning the machine off.
- Put your ice cream in a freezer proof container. Before putting the lid on, lay a piece of plastic over the surface of the ice cream to preserve it. Just like we are preserving my memories in dessert form. Some people scrap book........but those just aren't as delicious. Trust me.
- In a few short hours you'll be well on your way to tasting my childhood. That was weird. Just be grateful I was never inspired by fish stick and tater tot night. That's just never going to look good in a cone, you know?
Poppy also made sure I had the best Christmas of MY LIFE. I believe it was 1986. I was 6. And I got the haul of all hauls. Oh I'm sure my Gram was involved in it too, but I know Poppy was the one sneaking extra stuff in the cart. I mean, they must have had a blast in the toy store. That year I got the She-Ra Castle.......EVERY character.....and EVERY animal companion they rode in on. There was Cabbage Patches and Rainbow Brites as far as the eye could see! I got a keyboard and pom-pons and roller skates. God bless 80's overindulgence!!! The amount of horse things I got that year would have blown Lisa Frank's mind....who by the way was just starting out at the tender age of 25.
I was the most spoiled grandchild of all time. And still a year doesn't go by without me thinking of the smiles on my grandparents' faces as they watched us tear into our loot, screaming with delight. I hope they know that........And if you guys are listening I'd really like a Play Station and ALL the games and ALL the accessories that go with it.........and some roller skates. I grew out of mine.