Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category
One of the flavours we want to bring back in the next two weeks is mint. However, after the coldest March on record and then below average temperatures for April and May so far, we had some worries about whether the mint would grow enough to be harvested.
I went to visit Camphill, a special needs community, who are growing biodynamic mint for us, and happily it seems like it’s finally growing.
There are all sorts of tasty things on bushes at this time of year, and my mother suggested I do something with Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides). A friend of hers had them in abundance, and so we went out to harvest the little berries.
I cooked them with a bit of sugar, blended them, and then strained it to remove the seeds.
The beautiful orange berries have a remarkable taste, extremely tart and nicely earthy, but it takes a lot of work and patience (the berries are tiny, and the black seeds inside them are very large). In the end I had only a small amount of coulis.
An hour’s picking with two people didn’t provide enough for a single batch of ice cream, and only about 400ml of the delicious coulis. If you have some around, it could be a great touch for a dinner party, though…
There aren’t too many fruits that seem to grow well in our damp climate, at least not in the garden of someone as horticulturally-challenged as myself. However, I do have some wonderful apple trees in the back of the house, and the apples this year are big and full of flavour.
So far, we have just been eating them, but I think I may turn some of them into ice cream – perhaps an apple brandy or blackberry and apple flavour that we can serve in the shops for the autumn.
The birds around the place are quite happy at the moment to be sharing in the bounty, so I’d better get picking soon!
I had a very welcome visit from Con Traas yesterday, the man behind The Apple Farm. We have been long time fans of his Karmine Apple Juice, but this time he dropped in some bottles of his sparkling apple juice (photo above), which is sold only at the farm shop in Tipperary.
It’s an absolutely delightful product – earthy and a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.
In addition, he dropped in 6 kilos of plums, which are small and flavourful.
That means we will have a couple batches of plum ice cream coming up soon, and it should be a great flavour as we come out of summer.
I’m thinking a plum and brandy ice cream? I’ll post a recipe as soon as we’ve figured it out…
We have a scooping cabinet going into Dublin for the first time, and we’re planning an ice cream party to help launch it. (If you live in Dublin and love our ice cream, keep Friday the 19th late afternoon free, and stay tuned!)
We’ve been thinking a lot about what to offer in terms of ice cream, and it seems to me that the theme should be “Pride of Place.” There are so many good foods and food (and drink) producers here, that we’re going to take a few Irish foods and drinks and turn them into ice creams. Especially in these uncertain times, highlighting the Irish produce we love seems only a good thing (more about that here).
Anyway, here are the flavours we have talked about:
* Bluebell Falls Goats cheese with honey and thyme
* Chocolate with Kilbeggan whiskey
* Lorge chocolate truffle
* Porterhouse Brain Blásta beer
* Eden Apple brandy with Irish apples
* Irish coffee
* McCambridge’s brown bread
* Connemara seaweed (possibly with Irish salmon)
* Barry’s Gold Blend Tea
I heard some sad news from Colm, the farmer who delivers us our Kerry Cow Milk, and that is that one of his Kerry cows, the one in the photo above, has died suddenly a week after giving birth. She was known as 308, not the prettiest name, perhaps, but she was a pretty cow, and I had many photos of her.
It’s easy to forget, when there’s milk coming in, that there are animals behind it all, and so today I’ll lift a cone to the memory of the pretty 308.
Business is a funny thing. Some things can be easy, and some things hard, and it’s difficult to predict in advance which will be which. The most annoying issues are ones that really aren’t that big, ones that should be easily solved, but for whatever reason we just can’t do so.
One of these issues has been cones. My brother and I have always been a fan of waffle cones, and when we set up the business, we had never thought we would serve anything else. However, finding cones we liked (and were reasonably priced) was quite another matter. We did find some decent ones early on, but so many of them kept arriving broken, that we gave up. We’ve been looking and looking, for almost nine years.
Time went by, and we served our ice cream on wafer cones instead, even though we never were that excited by them. We explored the possibility of making cones, and we ordered up samples when ever we heard of a source somewhere in Europe.
Anyway, problem solved! My brother managed to find a company making great waffle cones, and we’ve just received a few pallets of them. They are extremely tasty, and they are in one piece.
It looks like the end of the wafer cone is nigh at Murphys. Finally.
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