It's only the first week of May, and already we're being broiled here in New Jersey. Normally this isn't such a bad thing. I'll take a scorching steering wheel any day over having size 7 ice blocks for feet. You never have to worry about digging your car out after a thunderstorm, and even if you did, it's not like you would have to bundle up. Summer is the best.
For me, the beginning of summer weather no longer signals cold glasses of lime mojitos and handpicked baskets of local strawberries. No. Now that I live in a massive apartment complex filled with kids, it means something entirely different.
It marks the beginning of the Blue Bunny ice cream truck's six month reign of terror.
I wonder.. does the music of the approaching ice cream truck inspire nostalgia for other people? Fond memories of sharing delicious frozen treats with neighborhood friends after a long game of freeze tag on a summer afternoon? Does it? Because I tell you, that's crap. I was a country kid, sheltered from the knowledge of such things as strangers circling the neighborhood for hours in their big white trucks, luring children over with ice cream bars and songs. I knew no such thing. You know what I had? A 100-pack box of freezepops in my very own freezer, ready for me whenever I wanted without my having to chase after a stranger's van and give every adult in the neighborhood a migraine with my frenzied yelling and shrieking for overpriced treats.
That's what the Blue Bunny truck is to me. Not nostalgia, but a headache. When I hear the sound of "The Entertainer" approaching from afar, I feel no twinge of wistfulness in my heart for childhood days gone by. Rather, I feel pure terror at the prospect of it parking directly in front of my apartment for twenty minutes, forcing me to listen to hordes of screeching banshee children and the same droning song that summons them over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
You know that crotchety old lady who spends her days glaring out from between her window shades and bitching about those rotten kids getting too close to her car? Well, imagine her young and beautiful yet similar-tempered granddaughter, and there you have me. But today, I decided to take a break from hurling freezepops at the unsuspecting little goblins' heads, and instead chose to stick it to the Blue Bunny truck a different way. By slashing its tires? No. Not this time.
I decided to make my own ice cream. It won't make the truck go away, but it will soothe the headache splendidly.
1- Turn the kitchen radio up really loud to drown out the evil circus music coming from outside.
2- Pour a cup of half and half, a cup of heavy whipping cream, and a half cup of sugar into a freezer-safe mixing bowl. Mix it really, really well with a whisk.
3- Add pretty much anything your little heart desires to flavor it. I used vanilla, fresh lime juice, and lime zest for one batch, and rosewater and fresh shredded mint leaves for the other. No measurements. Just start with a little and keep adding until it suits your tastebuds.
4- After you've mixed it until it's started to look thick, bubbly, and puffy, place it in the freezer. Take it out at 15 minute intervals to re-whisk it so that the frozen pieces at the edges get mixed back in with the rest and it freezes evenly.
5- Once it's solid, take it outside and enjoy it on the front step in front of all those kids who already finished their popsicles.