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Blueberry Ice Cream…And Sewing!

August 29, 2012

Well, the new semester has started as of Monday, so I’m back into the swing of things with getting classes organized on-line and in person.  Got to remember that I have class on Friday morning once again so I don’t oversleep!

In a strangely efficient day last weekend, we purchased the materials and actually made a big table for cutting fabric based on those in the costume shop at EMU.  This is an unusual event for us, since typically there has to be a lot more discussion about a proposed project, acquisition of the materials, and seasoning of the materials over days or weeks or months before the project is eventually completed.  Somehow, we just got it done in one day, and without murderizing each other in the process!

We got a 4×8′ sheet of soundboard (homasote), backed it with a sheet of lauan and put a frame of 2×2 around the back with a couple of stringers across for support and stiffness.  Then, the soundboard side got covered with vinyl fabric (thank you, 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby).  The soundboard can be pinned into with pins or thumbtacks to hold fabric and pattern pieces in place when laying out and cutting.  Also picked up a pair of adjustable-height sawhorses so I can raise the table up to waist height or so – no more sore back from bending over a regular table or sore knees from laying things out on the floor!  In this picture, the table is at about 36″ high, but the sawhorses can go up to 40″.  Looking forward to cutting some new garments soon…  I also think this will come in handy for doing silk painting, since this is a bigger table than anything else in the house and will live in the basement instead of cluttering up the living room any further.

On Sunday, I took a second whack at making a fruit-swirled ice cream recipe I’d found in a magazine before Pennsic.  The recipe simply calls for beating heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk together until stiff, then adding the fruit puree of your choice before freezing in a loaf pan – no ice cream maker required.  The first time I tried this, I let the cream and milk beat just a bit too far and ended up making a sweet vanilla butter (tasty on oatmeal and pancakes).  This time I may have been a little too cautious, but the end result is still tasty.  The other problem I found is that I accidentally made blueberry freezer jam with the berries I’d pureed for the first attempt.  So I ended up with a baggie of blueberry juice and a congealed lump of blueberry flesh that I had to put through a sieve before I could add it to the cream mixture.  Still, the final result is a solid ice cream (let sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping) that is very tasty.

Since we’re still on an ice cream sandwich kick, I made some lemon sugar cookies to go with the blueberry ice cream.  These are more like ice cream sandwich cookies should be – very soft and chewy – and made a good impromptu sandwich last night.  I assembled some more of them this afternoon and they’re chilling in the freezer right now!  The fresh lemon zest for these was so fragrant last night.  Zesting citrus always makes me want a garbage disposal in our sink so I could grind up the leftover rinds just to make the kitchen smell nice!

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