week 05: better late than never

It’s already Wednesday, meaning I’m a bit late getting around to writing this update and struggling to remember what exactly happened this past week. In light of the fact I’m also getting over a mystery stomach bug and trying not to inhale a can of ginger ale as I sit here (easier said than done when all you’ve eaten in the last day is a bunch of crackers and some peanut butter… and the ginger ale tastes so good), maybe I’ll just leave you with a few photos of things that made this past week a good one.

An event put on by the Science Policy Advocacy Group at UNC to discuss how elections influence science & environmental policy. While there were plenty of things to not be excited about, it was encouraging to see the turnout & know that this is not an isolated group. As one of the panelists said “I imagine this room is replicated at universities across the country”. I’m sure he’s right.

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A Thursday mentoring meeting in which we ditched the school building and opted to do some painting instead. Trying not to spill blue paint everywhere seems to build relationships a bit better than multiplication tables, as important as they may be.

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Bread that didn’t turn out quite as planned, thanks to some less-than-fresh yeast, but still filled our apartment with warm, welcome winter aromas. Even if it’s actually close to 60 degrees outside.

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Plus:

  • Found some nice, large glass jars at a yard sale on Sunday – perfect for storing grains & other bulk-aisle items. They have a plastic seal, so still working on getting rid of the lingering smells of peppermint and Smarties.
  • Visited Yellow Dog Bread Co. on First Friday and spoke with a rep from Compost Now, a compost collection service here in the Triangle area. Came away with a couple cookies (yum) and some flower seeds (yay).
  • I’m a little shy when it comes to sharing things I write, but decided to go for it & shared one of my latest posts on social media. It may seem like a little thing, especially in an age of digital communication, but one that took a little bit of working up to. For those who read it & responded, thanks for your kind words!

Delta:

  • The weather here has been unreal for February, but I’m still doing a poor job of actually biking places. I had an elaborate plan to bike to school, a meeting, and then to the city council meeting yesterday, but my gastrointestinal system had other plans so that got nixed.
  • Still working on navigating the farmers market and then “how do I decide what booth to buy from”question, as well as remembering to volunteer the fact I have my own bag as to not continue acquiring plastic ones.

But, that should do it for this week. If nothing else, I can check the box for “I wrote something for this week” and can be a bit more thorough next time.

Week-To-Week is a series consisting of reflections on purchases & daily events condensed on a weekly basis

 

ice cream bread

Back in October, we lost power for 3 or so days as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Inconvenient for sure, but only mildly problematic as we had access to university resources to shower, charge electronics, use wifi, etc. We kept our perishables in our closed fridge for as long as deemed safe, then were fortunate to be able to transfer them to some real estate in a friend’s chest freezer. Our ice cream had melted a bit (not completely), but didn’t re-freeze to the same creamy, scoopable consistency. That made it a prime candidate for this recipe.

Our local grocery store occasionally has “buy 2, get 3 free” deals (yes, you read that right) on different items, which has the potential to yield an excess of ice cream. I think I’d be a little wary of buying ice cream exclusively for the use of baking – ice cream may make bread better, but I’m not so sure that bread can improve upon ice cream. However, this is a quick, not-too-sweet recipe that is good to have in one’s back pocket.

There are a number of variations of this recipe floating around online already, but figured I’d report what worked for me. I used chocolate cherry bordeaux & mocha almond fudge flavors. To be honest, the mocha almond flavor had a little bit of an almost burned taste, perhaps from the coffee flavor, but the chocolate-cherry was super tasty and the cherry flavor certainly came through. Plus, I’m a sucker for nearly anything chocolate…

If I were to do this again, I’d definitely opt to add chocolate chips for a little something extra.

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Ice Cream Bread
Makes 1 loaf (10 slices)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ice cream
  • 1 1/4 cups self rising flour*
  • Add ins, as desired (chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, etc)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the bottom & sides of a loaf pan.
  2. Combine ice cream and flour, mixing until combined.
  3. Stir in any add ins, if desired, then add batter to loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. I recommend cooling before slicing.

Yep, it’s that easy! If you find you’d like something a bit sweeter or richer, serve slices with ice cream or peanut butter.

As a side note, it was a little tricky to get out of my pan, but I cut around the edges and used a fork to pull up one end, then turned upside down and shook until the bread separated.

*If you don’t have self rising flour on hand, you can make your own by adding 1 1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup of all purpose flour

Anyone out there have strong opinions about their favorite ice cream flavor?