whence it came

Thursday is Produce Day. It’s the day on which our Produce Project shares are ready for pickup from the local shipping container turned “Produce Cave”, a name coined by a child of a shareholder. This week, as I loaded the share into my box to take home, a man and his elementary age daughter came in behind me. Immediately after crossing the threshold into the container, the man stopped, took a deep breath, smiled, and asked “Doesn’t it smell good in here?” before prompting his daughter to try and pick out their box among the alphabetized containers of fruits and veggies. The question seemed to be directed partially to her, partially for his own acknowledgement. Though I didn’t answer him, I silently concurred. The distinct smell of fresh produce laced with a bit of cardboard is oddly refreshing, a reminder of the earth from which the bounty was cultivated.

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I think there is great value in knowing where something comes from, and knowing where it’s going. I think there’s even greater value in turning that knowledge to action & trying it for myself. While picking up a share of produce on a weekly basis is not the same as growing it, or speaking with a farmer, it’s one step closer to the source – and the smell is a reminder of this.

As evidenced by today’s politics, we fear what we do not know. Similarly, we may often take for granted that which we have not witnessed.

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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?