This post updated August 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project, where I add new photos to my early recipes.
A girlfriend of mine gave me a frame with this quote a long time ago and it still speaks to me, especially as part of a military family, and it has seemed particularly apropos recently. The Godfather and I are coming up on our last year here at Vandenberg and many of the friends we’ve known during our time here are starting to receive orders to move or talk about where they’d like to go next.
We too have our “short list” with preferred locations, even though we know it really comes down to where the Air Force decides it needs us most, and we’re okay with that. I suppose I pictured myself as someone who would want to settle at some point, but neither he nor I are ready to give up the adventure and possibilities each new place provides. We do miss living very close to a major airport, but we’ve had some fabulous adventures the past seven years, so we’re happy.
As regular readers of this blog would know, the Godfather and I are from the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. There aren’t many positions available in the area, and while we miss family, I’m not sure we’d be ready to go back just yet. We’ve grown so much and experienced so much, but we feel like there’s still more life out there to live before we head back to the familiar. Familiar is good, it’s safe, but when and if we do return “home”, we want it to be to establish the new life we dreamed of and not fall into the “let’s relive this other fun time in my life” trap. Each time in life is beautiful in its own way, but we wouldn’t want to miss on the loveliness of now by looking back too soon. New places challenge us to continue to grow together and learn to make anywhere home. I love that. The Godfather and Dolce are my favorite travel buddies. I’d like to think we would have maintained that sense of adventure even if we hadn’t left for career reasons… adventures are good.
I’m not very good at transitions, so let’s talk about ice cream now. We started making homemade ice cream a year and a half ago and haven’t purchased anything store bought since. Well, except for the Ciao Bella key lime gelato sandwiches – they’re ah-mazing! Otherwise though, we make our own whenever the craving strikes. This summer I decided we needed to make a bourbon peach cobbler ice cream, but when the time came, I had no fresh peaches on hand, so we modified to make a bourbon pecan caramel ice cream instead because I did have some fresh caramel sauce on hand. Perfect!
If you’d rather not add bourbon, an imitation extract could be substituted (just use less) or you could use cinnamon or ginger instead for a spiced pecan caramel ice cream. That sounds wonderful now that I think about it. If you do this, please report back.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 8 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ homemade caramel sauce (or store-bought)
- Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the chopped pecans and saute for about 2 minutes.
- Remove the butter and pecans from the heat. Scoop out the pecans and set aside, toss with the salt.
- Boil milk, sugar and cream, over medium heat until it boils. Then remove from heat, stir in the melted browned butter and set aside.
- Whisk the egg yolks with a hand or stand mixer until they're pale yellow and slightly thickened. Slowly drizzle in the hot cream (continue constantly mixing the egg yolks!) and return the entire mixture to the saucepan.
- Cook over medium low heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. If you're using a thermometer, it will register 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the mixture into bowl. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Then cover the bowl and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Set up your ice cream maker (we use a Cuisinart) and make the ice cream following the manufacturer's instructions. Add the pecans towards the end of the mixing process.
- Place one layer of the ice cream mixture in a container, drizzle in a third of the ice cream. repeat two more times or until all the ice cream and caramel has been used. Cover and freeze until the ice cream has set.
- Serve and enjoy!