Here is one benefit of living in a place where the weather is so warm that it doesn't really seem like Christmas: you can continue eating ice cream all winter long. Not that snow, rain, sleet, or below zero temps ever kept me from ice cream before. But now it feels right to be eating it. And making it.
Okay, maybe the ice-cream-friendliness of this season is not a benefit, at least not if I want to return to America within ten pounds of what I weighed when I left.
But, seriously, it's ice cream. And as you may know, I like to make my own. What you probably don't know is that the cream here is super double thick and rich. That's how Callie would say it. "Super double."
Plus, it's really too hot here to run the oven much. And I only have one cookie sheet. And I didn't bring my beloved Silpat liners with me and it turns out that parchment paper is hard to come by here. I don't really know how to bake without Silpats or parchment paper. Honestly, I'm not much of a baker with Silpats and parchment paper, but I really suck without them.
I did bake for a cookie exchange last week. I took two dozen gingersnaps and two dozen biscotti. The biscotti were fabulous -- light and crispy. The gingersnaps were not so snappy. Oh, they were snappy shortly after I pulled them out of the oven, thankyouverymuch. But after a few hours in the humidity they developed the texture of a wet noodle. Bleh. And yet I'm still craving gingersnaps. Maybe that's my body's way of telling me it's Christmas time. If not for the Christmas music playing constantly in our house, you'd probably never know we celebrate Christmas here. Sad. Very sad.
So in response to the gingersnap craving, I made up a gingersnap ice cream recipe today and put together the custard base a while ago. Ohhhh...if the ice cream is half as good as the base, it will put that craving to bed for sure. I'm hoping to churn the gingersnap ice cream tomorrow and then later in the week I'm going to whip up two batches of peppermint ice cream as the wintery accompanyment to our Christmas Eve dinner of bbq ribs, cole slaw, and potato salad. How's that for a mid-winter feast? Sounds more like the Fourth of July, doesn't it? Hopefully I can find some ribs this week. If not, I'll have to come up with something else. Pulled pork? Burgers? Mahi-Mahi?
So, yes, this year I'm associating Christmas with homemade ice cream. We just finished off a batch of coconut ice cream (made with pureed coconut meat from three coconuts I watched a guy hack open with a machete). I made up that recipe, too, and it came out pretty tasty. It followed a batch of mint chip ice cream which wasn't bad, either.
It seems as if ice cream season has arrived here in Mexico. I'm making the most of it.