Making a Mint

It was hot here in Los Angeles over the long weekend. 108 degree hot. Stuttering power grid hot. The ants were invading the house to escape the heat kind of hot. Moths and grasshoppers napped in the shade of our porch hot. The house making cracking and groaning sounds in the mid-day sun hot. Time to make fresh mint ice cream hot.

I trolled the internet and stumbled upon a few recipes, eventually settling on one by the talented David Lebovitz, whose book The Perfect Scoop has become the new benchmark for the home ice cream jockey. I got out my cheap Krups ice cream maker and strained the power grid a bit more. A full 2 and a half hours later (I’m sure more practiced ice cream makers could do it less time, but the steeping the fresh mint, the straining, the making the custard, the cooling the custard, the chilling the mixture, the churning the mixture, the setting of the ice cream all take some time) I had something I’d always wanted but never got out of my childhood favorite Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip: true mint flavor, without that fake-o aftertaste and unnatural hue. The kids liked it, but with a primal enthusiasm uncomplicated by decades old memories. Vanilla is way easier and just about as wondrous. I’m going to try my hand at quicker prep custard-free sorbets and the like before the grid goes down for good.
—Hugh

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