A spring chill still lingers in the mornings, but it’s not too early for making ice cream. Most days have been warming up beautifully, and after a weekend of yard work, there’s nothing like a scoop of cold, creamy homemade ice cream in the afternoon to cool off.
For our first batch of ice cream this year, I made a classic – chocolate chip…
Most of my favorite ice creams as a kid contained some form of chocolate – cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, vanilla fudge swirl, rocky road, vanilla topped with magic shell, fresh strawberry ice cream with chocolate syrup. It’s these simple, classic combinations that I still enjoy the most.
As I write this, typing quickly to get as much written as possible before my baby wakes up from his morning nap, I’m thinking about this coming Sunday, my first mother’s day as a mother myself. I read a funny quote the other day, that said “You know you have reached true motherhood when you understand why mama bear’s porridge was cold.” So true! Although, in my case, it’s a trail of cold cups of tea and coffee that I leave in the living room and kitchen, that I can never manage to drink while still hot.
I adore our little boy. Some nights, after he goes to bed, I sit on the couch, missing him, and watch little videos of him on my phone, giggling, smiling, trying to shove everything he can grab into his sweet little mouth. And even while appreciating that he sleeps through the night and that I can get a full night’s sleep (when post-pregnancy leg cramps don’t keep me awake), I miss him so much until he wakes up the next morning. And that delighted smile on his face when I go to pick him up from his crib – I never knew I could love someone so much.
After my maternity leave was up, I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of leaving him in daycare, and realized I didn’t have the time to even go back to work part time, so in spite of the financial sacrifice it would mean for our family, I quit my job to be a full-time mom. After all, I didn’t wait 38 years to have a baby only to let someone else raise him, and I can’t imagine missing out on this time with him.
There’s no doubt that motherhood is incredibly hard. After he was born, it was months before I could even scrape together enough minutes – or energy – to pick out something to wear other than pajamas. I have to keep my long hair pulled up at all times since he loves to grab it to pull into his mouth. And while I miss wearing makeup and cute outfits every day – and anything I wear, I wear with caution since it will likely be splattered with food, or spit up, or drool, before the day is over – I’m so thankful to be home with him.
With only seven months of motherhood under my belt, I know that I still have a lifetime of experiences ahead of me, but I can say with absolute certainty, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. And this weekend, of course there will be cake.
Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks, finely chopped
In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup cream with the milk, sugar and egg yolks. Over medium heat, whisking constantly, cook until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and vodka. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg, and cover the custard with plastic wrap, resting right against the surface. Refrigerate overnight, or until thoroughly chilled.
Beat the remaining cup of cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the chilled custard. Churn the custard according to the manufacturer’s instructions of your ice cream maker, then stir in the chopped chocolate. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.
Yields about 2 quarts.