Archive for December, 2009
Amazing as it seems, we’re completing our 10th year of Murphys Ice Cream. I thought, perhaps, I’d try to write up a Top Ten highlights of the decade of ice cream, even though there were so many amazing moments…
First Ten Years of Murphys “Top Ten”
1. Opening the doors in Dingle. A dream becomes a reality.
2. Moving the ice cream making from the back of the Dingle shop into our own little ice cream factory. The move allowed us to launch our tubs into Dublin and other places around the country (and happily places like Morton’s, Fothergill’s, Ivan’s and Donnybrook Fair took us in). Suddenly, we were more than just a shop in Kerry.
3. Some of our ice cream and other creations. My (very subjective) top ten of the products that made me proud: Aztec Hot Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream, Champagne Sorbet, Brown Bread Ice Cream, Extreme Cocoa, Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream, Wiebke’s Fudge Cake, Chocolate Sorbet.
4. Support from the press. From the Irish Tatler to the Irish Times, from Nationwide to Moncrieff, we’ve had amazing support from journalists who care, both here at home and abroad. It’s been such a help, and we’re very grateful!
5. Opening our second shop in Killarney.
6. Awards, from Great Taste Awards to Food and Wine Artisan Supplier of the Year to Blog Awards. What ever one might think of awards, they give a great deal of satisfaction and pride for the whole team for all the hard work.
7. This blog and other social media – finding new ways to keep in touch and spread the message of ice cream, as well as meeting a whole range of new people!
8. Our staff – they have delivered the Murphys experience to thousands upon thousands of customers, entertained us, and kept us going and in high spirits over the last ten years. To all who have worked at Murphys in the past and especially to the team we have now, thanks a million!
9. The Book of Sweet Things – A Murphys cookbook was a dream come true, and we were so happy when Mercier Press decided to take a chance on us. Creating the book was so much fun to do, and I hope that there are many more people out there now happily making their own ice cream.
10. Customers. They might come last in this list, but they really come first in terms how much they have meant to us.
Our customers believed in us and supported us financially and in many other ways. They helped us design our products, improve our shops, and find new outlets. They chided us when we went off course and saved us from many disasters. They kept us laughing and kept us passionate.
From the very young to the very old, from those here at home to those from abroad, we have met so many special people over the years, and we had so many special times with them.
To any of our customers reading this: thanks, thanks, and thanks.
We hope to be there for you for the next ten years!
I couldn’t help myself. I know it’s a day after Christmas, but above is my niece Una playing Mary with baby Jesus in a cardboard box. I though she was very cute, so I hope you forgive my sharing in this space. Once again, a happy festive season to all!
Now… it’s time to think about the Wren!
We’ve had a Camphill Community here in Dingle for a few years now, and I wouldn’t be the only one who thinks having such a wonderful place for special needs people here in our midst has made Dingle a better place. Yesterday I went along to their Christmas Shepherd’s Play, and it was heart-warming and a perfect way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
I hope you enjoy the photos above.
Happy Christmas and/or a festive and happy holiday season to all!
We’re doing the above special as early celebrations for our 10th anniversary in business and to point out that (in the world of the “glass half full”) that we’re halfway to summer! Please come join us tomorrow (Monday), if you’re in Dingle or Killarney. After all, who could say “no” to a free ice cream?
There are many kinds of gingerbreads out there, and people certainly have their preferences – how dark, how sweet, how spicy. The good news about making gingerbread ice cream is that you can use whatever gingerbread you like, so you’ll definitely like the ice cream! Whether you use gingerbread you have made or gingerbread you have bought, this makes a great festive ice cream. I’ve spiced it up a bit, but you could leave the spices away if you like a plainer ice cream, and simply substitute a bit of vanilla.
MURPHYS GINGERBREAD ICE CREAM
What to do:
1. Stir the cinnamon, ginger and sugar together.
2. Add the egg yolks and beat until thick.
3. Bring the milk to a low simmer.
4. Beat the milk into the egg/sugar mixture in a slow stream.
5. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.
6. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs!
7. Immediately remove from the heat.
8. Allow to cool.
9. Whip the cream until it has doubled in volume (you should have soft peaks – don’t over-whip).
10. Fold (gently stir) in the custard.
11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, adding the gingerbread when it’s fairly solid.
You can also just cover and place in the freezer, stirring every few hours, and again, add the gingerbread when it’s reasonably solid.
Yield: 8 servings
1. The reason to add the gingerbread at the end is that otherwise it can sink to the bottom of the ice cream as it is freezing and won’t be evenly mixed through it.
2. To pasteurise the eggs, heat the custard to 73C and maintain that temperature for at least 5 minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, though, and keep stirring! If the custard goes any higher than 76C, the eggs will scramble. Immediately cover and place in the freezer until cool.
We’ve been having the most beautiful weather here in Co. Kerry, and yesterday, driving home from our Killarney shop, I was treated to the most amazing sunset (photo above) as I drove past Inch Strand. It’s almost as if the elements are doing their part in in trying to people’s spirits after all the bad news of November floods, the budget and the Murphy report. Today is another stunning day, and long may it continue. We could use it!
Last night, we had a little Christmas party with our Murphys Ice Cream team, although we were missing our ice cream maker Christophe, who was sick, and the two from Killarney, one of whom is off preparing to get married.
It’s been a year in which everyone (some of them in the photo) really worked hard to improve the business in many ways, and my brother and I are deeply grateful for their efforts. For Murphys Ice Cream to exist and thrive takes the care and support of our customers and our team, and we thank them both!
Finally, last night was also the 6th wedding anniversary of my brother Sean and his wife Wiebke, and I congratulate the two of them and wish them many happy years ahead.
Here’s hoping this sunny weather is a portent of positive change in 2010, of beautiful days filled with joy (and ice cream) and of quality time spent with people about whom we care deeply.
It looks like there might be a possibility that the Friday morning Dingle Farmer’s Market might move, at least for next summer. It used to be on the Tracks, next to the back of Garvey’s Supermarket, but the traders lost access to the site. For the last few months, it’s been held in Dykegate Lane, in what used to be the old whole foods shop, which has the huge benefit of being inside but is a little quiet, according to some of the traders. Perhaps that’s simply because not enough people know it’s there. Recently, Kerry County Council has taken an interest (due to pressure from the Green Party nationally to facilitate farmer’s markets), and they are suggesting a move to the parking lot on Holyground. I hate to see more parking lost, but here’s hoping we find a solution that makes everyone happy!
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