I just changed my Google+ profile to read “wishful gardener.” Maybe next year I can edit it to “bountiful gardener.” (Speaking of, whatever type of gardner you are (bountiful to black thumb) I’d love to follow you on Google+, add me to your Google+ circles and I’ll reciprocate!)
Here’s a photo of my so-called “garden;” a sad tangle of long grass under an overgrown bush.
As you may know, our family moved from Chicago to the middle of nowhere (country) in December. Despite my sadness at leaving the city, I had big plans for a bountiful garden in our gigantic yard. My new farmer friends promised to come plow me a patch of earth saying, “I’ll come plow as soon as the ground dries out.” That day never came; the Mississippi has been at flood-stage for months.
So, earlier this spring, when I was itching to plant something ANYWHERE, (and had ordered WAY too many seeds from CooksGarden) I enlisted a friend to help me dig up a small patch around this gangly bush. Despite the weeds, it’s actually produced beautiful mixed lettuces, Watermelon Radishes, the crunchiest cucumbers ever, rhubarb, and beautiful basil from seed!
When I read this month’s Improv Challenge (a monthly recipe bloghop where Kristen @ Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker assigns two ingredients) of Peaches & Herbs, I knew I had to harness the mellow (herb-alicious!) flavor of my basil.
Below is my adaptation of Jeni’s recipe in which she masterfully uses small amounts of the secret ingredients corn syrup, cornstarch and cream cheese to whip up the creamiest premium ice cream, tasting just like it came from an ice cream shop. These ingredients help the protein in the milk products gain extra body and creamy structure; they also help avoid ice crystals ubiquitous in most homemade ice creams. I made this version much lower in fat and sugar, but still amazingly velvety and rich-tasting. The fresh peaches are a perfect complement to the mellow basil flavor – just don’t add too many or the extra juice will make ice crystals.
Even my husband loved this – and he’s a chocolate, vanilla or peanut butter ice cream kinda guy. No fussy flavors for him – usually – but when tasting this Peach Basil Ice Cream, he said “This is good, what is it mint?” Come to think of it, fresh mint would be a delicious substitution for the basil in this recipe!
What desserts do you make using herbs? Please share!