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Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, You Know Where This Is Going, Right?

Like most fads, recipes make the rounds. Foods and recipes come in and go out of style, recipes are traded, and old, passe recipes come back in style years later, like the Martini, for instance.

Or take a look at one of those "church lady" type cookbooks, the kind where everybody contributes their favorite recipes for Layered Nacho Salad or Cream Cheese & Clam Dip, or Cookies Made From A Cake Mix. Depending on when the cookbook was put together, and the ages of the recipe contributors, you will find recipes for Veggies & Dill Dip, Sweet Pickles Made From Dill Pickles, Hummos & Pita Chips or Cream Cheese Brownies.

Have you ever seen a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread? Popular during the 1970s, a friend would give you a Cool Whip container full of bubbly, yeasty goo and the instructions to keep the starter going and a recipe to bake the bread. Amish Friendship Bread was a sort of coffee cake with cinnamon crumb topping (as I recall) and was quite good.

One of the catches was that you had to "double" the starter you received and give the extra to another friend. This generated a round of starter swapping, similar to what occurs when a friend invites you to a Tupperware party. Every guest ends up having their own party and you end up attending a dozen parties and buying enough Tupperware to become a Tupperware saleswoman yourself. It's fun, but soon the novelty wears off and the responsibility of keeping that "starter" going gets to be too much and eventually, it is allowed to die.

No problem, cookbooks and websites abound with the recipe. Unless you are superstitious, it's not problem to whip up your own starter. And while you are at it, give the extra to a friend and start a new round of Friendship Bread!

One recipe I remember, that became quite popular and then faded away, was for "ice cream". What made it unusual was that you did not need an ice cream maker nor did you need to cook and chill a concoction containing cream, eggs, vanilla and other expensive ingredients. Basically, jam was mixed with buttermilk and frozen to make a dish reminiscent of frozen yogurt, or Frogurt, as it was often called, and which was also gaining popularity at the time. The bonus was, if you used low fat buttermilk this was a low fat recipe!

The recipe ran in a popular women's magazine and in my recollection, I and my friends traded the recipe and announced our successes or failures using different kinds of jam. If I recall correctly, I probably only made this once or possibly twice. But it was good. And it couldn't be easier!

If you have an ice cream maker, the kind that requires a mixing bowl to be left in your freezer, or the kind that requires ice and rock salt, or the kind that costs hundreds of dollars and requires neither, go ahead and give this recipe a try.

And if you don't have any sort of ice cream maker, try it anyway. All you need is a little room in your freezer for the container of ice cream. It won't be there very long because if it's good, you'll eat it all up and if it's not, you'll toss it. Give it a try!

Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Serves: 8

2 cups nonfat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam

Stir buttermilk and strawberry jam together until well combined and pour into a freezer proof pan or bowl. Freeze firm, removing from the freezer to scrape with a spoon every 15 or 20 minutes. You may cut up pieces of frozen mixture and place in chilled mixer bowl, whip with electric mixer until fluffy, and return mixture to freezer pan until firm. Or, freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturers directions. Try other jam flavors.

Quotable Quotes; In the category I'll Have Some Anyway.

"The Frogurt is also cursed . . . That's bad."

From The Simpson's Treehouse of Terror III; Clown Without Pity

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