dairy-free mint and chocolate ice cream, and advice not to be followed when building a bird bath!

Making your own ice cream, whether dairy or non is quite easy if you own an ice cream maker as I do, a very basic (and noisy!) one that I acquired seven years ago when we found out my husband’s issues with milk products. In the past, I have made vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream but this year with the now customarily horrid temperatures I decided to go for the refreshing taste of mint, adding chocolate morsels for more fun. There is no coloring in my recipe, hence the pale-looking ice cream in the photos. But trust me, the taste is definitely there!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6 “reasonable” people)

4 egg yolks*

– 80g pure cane sugar, no caramel color added

400 ml creamy coconut milk if it isn’t very homogenous it should still be ok as long as you stir it well before using

6 drops organic mint essential oil (7 max)**

dark chocolate chunks, as many as you like!

*Do not throw away the egg whites. You can either freeze them in individual portions for further use or make a “gâteau creusois” with them. (recipe in French here)

**In a previous attempt, I tried infusing mint leaves but the preparation definitely lacked in taste; maybe I didn’t use enough. Adding essential oil means I will be able to make this again for the end of year festivities, even as our mint is in total hibernation ❄️!

Equipment:

an ice cream maker; if yours is a very simple one like mine, you will need to remember to place the tub in the freezer several hours before making the cream.

How to:

1. Beat 4 egg yolks with 80g sugar until very pale. The mixture tends to thicken towards the end.

2. Add 6 drops of essential oil and 400ml coconut milk. Mix well.

3. Pour into the ice cream maker and set the timer. It took between 15 and 20 minutes for my ice cream to be ready. For those who might wonder, since everything goes into the freezer right away and the ice cream usually gets eaten within 2 days, I feel pretty safe about not cooking the egg mixture. Obviously I wouldn’t be sharing this if it had made us sick – but if it doesn’t feel right to you, do not hesitate to change the recipe, cooking the preparation on very low, stirring and let it cool down before placing it in the ice cream maker. The last thing I want is for my neighbors to fall ill! 

4.  Transfer to a plastic container and store in the freezer.

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A Midsummer Nice Treat 😄!

I first posted this recipe in French about a week ago, when the temperatures over here started soaring, making everyone miserable: people, plants and animals.

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This is what our pumpkin patch looks like in 40°C / 105°F heat with no rain in sight…

This year, at the beginning of summer, I convinced my husband to build a small bird bath for the birds who like to visit our garden. For that purpose, my complying 😇 and ingenious 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 spouse up-cycled old stuff that he found in the garage, and didn’t miss the opportunity to say: “See, aren’t you glad we kept this? If I had listened to you, it would have been thrown out long ago!” – meaning I was wrong to follow Mari Kondo’s advice and systematically throw out what “doesn’t bring joy”😮 !

Of course I wanted to do things right, dear neighbors, and so I went on the internet looking for tips from experts. I read that the bath should be placed at ground level, since that is where natural water spots are. Well, that is definitely another piece of advice not to follow: birds feel safer at a higher level, especially when there are cats roaming around!

The “experts” also said that the bath should be a bright color, making it attractive to birds. I then proceeded to brighten the outer container, wrapping it in a delightful red adhesive with white polka dots… and waited in vain for weeks for the birds to get near it! Well, guess what? Ever since I removed the adhesive, we have had the pleasure of watching our little friends drink and freshen up in the bath!

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A seemingly “bright” idea!

Of course, the water must be changed regularly if we don’t want to attract mosquitoes – bad enough that the COVID is still around, I don’t want to have to also worry about Lyme disease and the likes!

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My husband included a side perch and added a brick so the birdies can safely stand and drink.   Note the dry ground and how the grass has changed color since the previous photo.

I hope all my neighbors are doing well, not suffering from too much summer heat, or too much winter cold for those who live in the other hemisphere. Take care, stay safe!

11 Comments

  1. Great recipe – one of my favourite flavour combinations 🙂 Love the bird bath. We do have a shallow purpose built one in the garden but this year due to the hot spring we had, we put out a deep baking dish which the blackbirds loved. Trouble is I couldn’t stop thinking about the line from the well known nursery rhyme (Sing a Song of Sixpence) every time I saw one splashing around! Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I noticed that bees and wasps stop for a drink too. They probably wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the brick platform. So I’m glad we are helping a little. Funny, I have just looked up the nursery rhyme on Wikipedia, and somehow I never knew the beginning, only the part about the king, the queen and the maid. Never too late to learn something new!
      Thank you Kathryn, I will be testing your ice cream very soon and will let you know how it turned out!

      Like

  2. Both the bird bath and ice-cream look great. I know that some colours deter birds, red being a warning, black too I think, greens, blue and possibly yellow are fine, I learned that the hard way too. I think we’re in for a heatwave so I’ll make sure to hope for enough rain for the two of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you from the two of us, I am going to follow your advice on this. We probably have some old paint in the garage that would change the color of our “open bar” 🍸. I will let you know how it works out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry, Dolly! You might try placing the mixture (heavy coconut cream should be fine) as is in the freezer, and stirring it with a fork every 20 minutes (?) until it is evenly frozen. I myself am planning to test Kathryn’s vegan version this weekend. I’ve already put the tub in the freezer!

      Liked by 1 person

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