Friday, July 7, 2017

In Recognition Of . . .

Who remembers this logo?

The line would extend out the small door onto the sidewalk, winding its way down the street edging towards the next block. The sight was a kind of human rainbow displaying bands of colour and texture; halter tops, cut-offs, flip flops, afros, tie-dye and beads.  Friends and neighbors chatted and fanned themselves while patiently waiting to place their order for what all agreed was the best ice cream, ever.  Early September, the month when temperatures are known to soar in the City by the Bay and a cup or a cone mounded high with Bud’s cooling confection was the only remedy. 
 Bud’s Ice Cream was a small hole-in-the-wall around the block from my grandparent’s house in the Noe Valley District. And yes, this neighborhood ice cream shop was actually in Noe Valley, though I’ve seen postings stating it was located in the Castro District.  No matter where you drew your District lines, there were few among us, who weren’t willing to stand in line at the corner of Castro and 24th, for one of Bud’s cones or sundaes.  I was maybe eleven years when I was allowed to walk to the shop by myself and become part of the neighborhood landscape.  On that first day of more to come, I did my best balancing the small order of treats back to the Victorian house on Jersey Street.  Vanilla for Papa, Pistachio for Uncle Orieto, Chocolate-Cherry for Titi and Rocky Road for myself. 

  I’m sure you’re thinking , summers in San Francisco are NOT that warm.  This could be due an experience you shared, similar to that of Mark Twain’s.  Resulting in his famous line; “The coldest winter I ever saw was a summer in San Francisco.”  Which, by the way, is a disputed quote, as there is some record disproving Twain ever said this. Whether Twain actually found himself bundled up and shivering during the months of June and July in the Foggy City, it seems clear to me he never visited in September and certainly didn’t know about Bud’s because he never wrote about it. 

Most residents of Noe Valley, Castro and the Mission knew it was worth the consistently long wait for a crispy cone filled with Bud’s rich, creamy concoction of sweetness churned with an abundance of whole milk and heavy cream.  Back then there was no Ben & Jerry’s, no Fro-Yo and Gluten-Free?  We loved gluten!  We really loved Bud Scheidelman and his cousin, Alvin Edlin, who later owned the creamery and incorporated all kinds of delicious additions into their happy creations.  Chunks of real fruit, chopped up (hometown) Ghirardelli Chocolate, thick ribbons of caramel and marshmallow and nuts galore.

It didn’t take long after another Ice Cream shop opened across the street from Bud’s, Alvin, decided offering the highest in quality ingredients was the only way to beat the competition into soggy, drippy submission.  And it did.  Those who worked at Bud’s say Alvin was always yelling; “Put more cherries in the cherry Ice Cream!  Add more fudge to the fudge Ice Cream!  When my customers order caramel Ice Cream, I want a chunk of caramel candy in every bite!”  Hence Bud’s famous slogan: “The finest ingredients and too much of them.”

Today we have a mecca of Ice Cream options to explore for our indulgent pleasure.  But, making your own Ice Cream from scratch is so blasted easy.   Why not just make some yourself, using the very best ingredients just like Bud’s? 

Bud’s focus was Ice Cream and while I do like Ice Cream I really like Gelato, also quite easy to prepare.  So what are the differences between the cooling confections Ice Cream, Gelato?

First about Ice Cream. Did you know ice cream is one of the top ten food items Americans love best?  It’s right up there with pizza, burgers, fries and hotdogs.  And did you know we Americans declared July as National Ice Cream Month?  Yes, it's nationally recognized.  Gosh American marketers are geniuses.   The biggest difference about Ice Cream is the heavy cream.  And it has more sugar than Gelato.  But hey, if you’re going to have dessert or “cheat,” then do it right!  I’m not one for the mediocrity of low-cal cookies or non-fat shakes and smoothies.  Or worse, non-fat ice-milk!  If you’re going to treat yourself then by all means, do it to the fullest!   Now Gelato has less fat, using only whole milk, no heavy cream and not as much sugar.  It’s also churned slower and for less time.  Resulting in less air being incorporated into the mixture, which makes Gelato denser than Ice Cream. 

  Here are 2 recipes, one for Ice Cream and one for Gelato, both so easy and ultra-delicious. 
You can purchase ice cream machines for well under $100.00

* Note: you need an ice cream machine.  They’re not expensive and are so easy to find. 
My new favourtie flavor

2 cups heavy whipping cream                     1 cup whole milk
½ cup dark Dutch cocoa powder                ¾ cup granulated sugar (I use super fine, Bakers or Caster)
¼ teaspoon salt                                              6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste                     ¼ cup bitter-sweet chocolate chunks       
  ½ cup maraschino cherries-cut in half

In large mixing bowl whisk egg yolks until they turn light yellow in colour.  Set to the side.

In a large, heavy saucepot, over medium heat, combine heavy cream, milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.  Bring just to a simmer then remove from heat.  

Temper the egg yolks, by adding 2-3 ladles of the warm milk mixture to whisked eggs, one ladle at a time.
Making sure to whisk in each addition before adding the next ladle. 

Once the egg yolks have been combined with the warm milk additions, pour the entire egg mixture into the saucepot with the remaining cream/milk mixture.  Return pot to the heat and continue stirring until mixture thickens and reaches 175-180 degrees (F).  Do not allow mixture to boil.

Strain the ice cream base by pouring over a strainer or sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in vanilla paste.

 Place bowl over an ice bath or in the fridge to cool completely.  Once cooled pour base into canister of your ice cream machine and turn on to ice cream setting or just “on” depending on what type of machine you have.

During last few minutes of churning slowly add chocolate chunks and cherry halves.  Scoop into bowls or cones.
                                                                                                                           Makes 1 Quart

How can you say "no" this summer delight?

3 cups whole milk                            6 egg yolks                  ¾ cup super fine sugar (Bakers or Caster)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste                                            Pistachio paste * Recipe below
Shelled pistachios for garnish

Pistachio Paste
1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios               2 Tblsp sugar           1 tsp olive oil

Begin by blanching shelled nuts in a pot of simmering water for about 2 minutes.  Immediately remove nuts using a slotted spoon or spider and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process.  Remove nuts and spread on a paper towel in a single layer to dry.

Once nuts have completely dried, place in a food processor (don’t use a blender, you won’t be able to get all the paste out) with sugar and olive oil.  Blend together until a nice, but rather dry, paste has formed.  Scoop out into a clean, small bowl until ready to use.

In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until they turn light yellow in colour.  Set aside.
In a heavy saucepot, over medium heat, combine milk and sugar.  Bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat. 

Add one ladle of warm milk mixture to bowl of egg yolks and whisk.  Do this two more times to temper your eggs.  Then pour entire egg/milk mixture back into saucepot and replace on heat.  Continue stirring (not whisking) with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and reaches 175-180 degrees (F).  Do not allow mixture to boil. 

Remove from heat and pour over a strainer or sieve into a clean bowl.  Stir in vanilla bean paste and prepared pistachio paste until well combined. Set bowl on an ice bath or in the fridge until completely cooled.

Once cooled, pour gelato base into your ice cream machine and run to “soft serve” setting or according to manufacturer’s directions for gelato. 
                                                                                                                          Makes  1 Quart

It’s only a childhood memory now, but Bud’s Ice Cream was a jumping place back in the ‘70’s.  No longer part of the old neighborhood, you’ll find a deli at 24th and Castro.  Though I read somewhere you can still purchase Bud’s Eggnog on line. 
 That was another luxurious and decadent ice cream flavor back in the day, available year round.

 Now, if Marty Mcfly unexpectedly showed up and asked me where I wanted to go in that DeLorean , without hesitation, I’d tell him the corner of Castro and 24th, 1977.  “My treat.” 
I scream, you scream we all scream for . . .

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