August 2007 Archives

The Ginger Ice Cream (and vernors for floats) was a hit.

4 eggs
1.5 cups sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups milk
4 generous tablespoons of Ginger Spread
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

It was delicious (although again the ice crystals were a little large because I was impatient and didn't let the batter get as cold as I should have let it before putting it into the mixer).

I think I want to make another batch of Mint Chocolate Chip next, but it will probably be a week or so before I end up doing it.


I often disagree with Paul Graham, even though he is a good essayist.

His latest essay, Holding a Program in One's Head, is excellent. I don't really see anything to argue with.

Go read it.

^FROM_DAEMON matches mailman-delivered messages.

oops ;-)

No wonder my old rule was not working correctly after the address got changed from an alias to a mailman list.



In celebration, since the internets say his favorite flavor of ice cream is Mango, I give you this recipe:

2 mangos chopped into little pieces (1/4 to 1/2 cup of pieces)
~1 cup of mango juice (pureed mango, water, and sugar)
1/2 cup of sugar

Combine and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups skim milk

Combine, cook, cool. Add mango juice from the above mixture (setting aside the chunks of mango). Put in ice cream maker. Add chunks of mango in the last 2 minutes of time in the mixer. Put in freezer overnight.

You may have noticed that your weblog is now running on MT 4.0.

You may also want to convert your templates to the enw ones. Instructions here.

One neat new feature is 'widget sets' which allows you to quickly/easily add/remove/rearrange small pieces of templates (widget templates).

My sidebar templates just include a widget set (so they're very small, unlike the default ones):

<div id="beta">
    <div id="beta-inner">
          <$MTWidgetSet name="NormalSet"$>

I also added some anti-spam features which required modifying some templates and rebuilding blogs. If you (or people visiting your blog) have problems being able to post comments please let me know (via email or whatever) and I'll see about fixing it (or temporarily turning off the new anti comment-spam features).

I just taste-tested the chocolate.

It's perfect.

Making ice cream involves three basic steps.

1. Prepare the base (or batter).
2. Conversion (this happens in the ice cream maker, in my case, the ice cream maker is a bowl and attachment for my kitchen aid mixer).
3. Ripening.

For the base, I've settled on a modified basic recipe from the Ben and Jerry's recipe book I purchased. [4 eggs, 2.5 cups sugar, 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 4 cups skim milk]. I get high quality ingredients (dairy products come from a local dairy, for example) from the East Lansing Food Co-Op.

Since I don't want to poison anyone, I've been slowly bringing the batter up to 160 degrees fahrenheit (per the FDA). After I get it up to temperature, I cool it in the refrigerator.

Then comes 'conversion'. The cooled batter is added to the special bowl (which has been in the freezer for at least 15 hours). The bowl has a double wall and some sort of coolant between the walls. With the mixer on stir (speed 1, the slowest speed) the special attachment (dasher) slowly stirs the batter while the bowl freezes it.

After the last batch, I've determined some important timing information for this step that I was missing before:

- After ~25 minutes, there is a noticeable change in the consistency of the batter
- After ~42 minutes, the bowl appears to have lost enough coldness that the frost on the top of the inside starts to melt.

Therefore, I believe leaving the batter for ~30 minutes, and then adding any chunks (if necessary) and mixing for just a few minutes should be about perfect.

At this point in the process, the batter has started to freeze and some air has been mixed in. The ice cream is about the consistency of a slightly-melted milk shake. This brings us to the final step, ripening.

The converted batter is put into a container and placed in the freezer. Commercial ice cream makers have very cold freezers (and do several freezing steps to finely control the size of the ice crystals that form in the ice cream for ideal mouth feel). Since I'm not a commercial ice-creamery, an air-tight container in the bottom of the freezer suffices. After a few hours (I usually leave it in overnight), the ice cream is ready to eat.


Before I forget it:

4 eggs
1.5 cups sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups milk
2 tsp. peppermint extract (added at the end of cooking the base)
.75 cup chocolate chips (should add later than 20 minutes after putting into the ice cream maker)

Ice Cream Madness.

2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Cups of Milk
1.5 Cups of cocoa powder
0.5 cups of oil (canola)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Currently in the refrigerator. No chunks (yet - I may try to mix in some chocolate chips when I get it ready to go in the freezer) so I can experiment with longer time in the ice cream maker tonight.

No worries, jared, vanilla is on deck:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

I should have the ice cream maker bowl ready to be re-frozen tonight, which means I can make the vanilla tomorrow and have it ready for the great Mauch visit of 2007 (this Saturday).

I need to go and get some more ingredients, because I want to have yet another batch ready on Sunday if possible (to give as a birthday present).

I keep my is300 out on the driveway so that Anne's car (the Matrix M-Theory) and my Celica alltrac can live in the garage.

Of course, small furry rodents have repeatedly decided to chew holes in the air filter of the car because of this (I suppose they are attracted to the warmth and relative shelter).

I've gone through a couple of attempts to fix the problem:

1. Buy a new filter, replace the one with holes, and ignore it (hoping that it would stop). It didn't. I got sick of replacing the filter every time I got an oil change (or every time I would check it and notice it had holes). I also don't really like the idea of driving around with a filter full of holes.

2. Go to AutoZone and look for a lifetime/washable/performance filter. This involves operating on the assumption that the fibers would be less attractive to a rodent than the paper in a normal filter. This theory was never tested, however, as AutoZone did not appear to have any filters available for the car except for a standard replacement one.

3. Which leads me to the eventual solution. Why not change the environment in the engine bay so that the filter is no longer in a cozy dark plastic box?


For not too much more than I had been spending on OEM-style filters, I get a lifetime K&N filter and a little more horsepower.

The Mint Chocolate chip tastes quite good. It has the appropriate amount of creamy-minty-chocolate goodness. Having less milk-fat in the base doesn't seem to have hurt the flavor (although it may have contributed to the less-than-ideal texture). Of course, with the peppermint flavor, it doesn't need to be as creamy.

The texture isn't quite perfect, though. The big problem was that it didn't get to sit in the mixer long enough (even though I was going to let it sit longer). The chocolate chips I dropped in after about 20 minutes of sitting in the mixer were large enough that they were interfering with the dasher (and causing some splashing of the contents of the bowl onto the countertop). It might also have had something to do with the large number of chocolate chips I put in the mix. So, I had to cut short the amount of time there. It still tastes good, but it's pretty dense and the ice crystals are a little too large.

I think the next batch, I'll do a plain chocolate (or something else without chunks). That way I can run the mixer for a much longer time and see how things turn out.

Anne and I took the ice cream over to some friends yesterday (and we made quick work of it).

Some notes:
- For the next batch I will add less cream (in the quest for lower caloric content while still tasting good). This batch was very creamy (and good), but I think a little less will be OK. I am thinking that I will double the batch (as the ice cream maker has 2x the capacity of what I made last time) with the same amount of cream and see how it turns out.
- The ice crystals were a little larger than I would like (the texture was just a tad bit not smooth enough). I'm probably going to make that worse by using less fat in the next batch, but I think I can compensate by leaving it in the mixer longer (apparently commercial ice cream makers use extremely cold freezers to prevent larger ice crystals from forming, but that's not really an option for me).
- If you add fresh fruit to ice cream, they become little fruit ice cubes (which is obvious in retrospect). While that's not an entirely bad thing, cooking the fruit with a little syrup (sugar and water) would yield a more expected texture.

That's about it. I think the next batch will still be mint chocolate chip even though we don't have enough peppermint leaves (and I don't want to wait the 3 weeks for the extract we're going to make to be ready before I make the next batch).

I need to remember to get a container or two to hold the ice cream in the freezer with the next time I visit Meijer.

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The words of the PDRS' motto apply perfectly to Iron Coder Live.

The one MacHack I went to was a ton of fun, in part because of the Hack contest. Even though my personal attempt at a hack was fairly lame. Basically, I thought of an idea (since the small group of people I had happened to be chatting with was without one at that time) and then didn't contribute much else (I was attempting to do my own from scratch unix-y implementation while the group did one based on some classic Mac OS code they had from other projects). Then, when we went to present, we had the unfortunate chance to be right behind someone else who had a similar hack (with a better presentation even though he had just taken an existing tool and built it on Mac OS X while we had built something new).

In any event, I need to quickly think of an idea and hack something together (or just decide to have fun at the conference without presenting a hack - which is, I think, a perfectly acceptable option).

The API+theme is delicious, though. If I get any kind of cool idea I'll have to at least try to put something together.

One quart of home made vanilla ice cream with cherries and dark chocolate chunks has been successfully produced at the geeklair.

Thanks to the East Lansing Food Co-op it's made of very good (mostly local ingredients).

Next up, probably 2 quarts of Mint Chocolate Chip (with peppermint extract that we'll be making from our own peppermint plant).

mmmm, ice cream.

From the people who brought you Ria Malaysian Restaurant - Suria Malaysian Restaurant.

It's even closer to my house :)

[Now, if only I had listened to Anne and had gone there sooner to check it out. I was just delaying because I was afraid I would be disappointed as I didn't know it was the same people who ran Ria.]

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