Feb 29, 2008

Knickerbocker Glory & Chocolate Frog Ice Cream

I recently had 2 'Harry Potter' related experiences so thought I would bring them together here, particularly because there's a nice ice cream connection.

First of all, my family and I visited Alnwick in Northumberland, England and enjoyed a super tour of Alnwick Castle which was used for many of the Hogwarts' scenes in the movies. Standing on the lawn from which Harry took his first broomstick flight was especially exciting! Follow the Alnwick Castle link and you'll see a photo of the very lawn.

Following this trip, I watched an excellent tv documentary about J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books and it reminded me of the many, happy hours that I spent reading the books with my son when he was younger. I thought back to the very first book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" which we read together with great excitement and then my mind turned to ice cream - to a Knickerbocker Glory in fact. What's the connection? Well, any avid Harry Potter fan will guess the answer but for those of you unfamiliar with the series, or at least the first book in the series, there's a scene at a zoo where Harry is out for a day with his loathsome aunt, uncle and spoiled cousin Dudley. When Dudley's Knickerbocker Glory isn't as big as he wants, he throws a tantrum. Now despite the fact that Dudley is an obnoxious character, wanting a Knickerbocker Glory to be as big as possible is something I can actually understand! Not that I eat them very much (I tend to always be making them for others to eat) but I know from watching my own dear Dad enjoy many a Knickerbocker Glory over the years that it's an addictive pleasure! Read my post about the Knickerbocker Glory Champion.

Anyway, going back to Harry Potter, I don't recall ever reading that Harry himself actually ate ice cream in any of the stories, so I began to wonder what ice cream Harry might enjoy, given the chance. The obvious one that came to mind was pumpkin ice cream and then I let my imagination run a little .... chocolate frog ice cream! To make this you could consider using my recipe for real chocolate ice cream and simply substitute Harry's favourite chocolate frogs for what I call 'normal' milk chocolate. What a 'magical' experience that would be!

If J.K. Rowling ever writes another Harry Potter book, maybe she'll let him or another character have fun making ice cream. The possibilities for rewriting the recipe books are endless!

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Feb 25, 2008

Ice Cream Machine For A Royal Banquet

Recently I watched a fascinating tv documentary showing Queen Elizabeth II hosting a banquet for a visiting Head of State. The care and attention to detail from the serving staff through to the chefs and kitchen staff was impeccable and not only that but their timing - what to serve, when, what to remove from the table, what to offer and when. I watched with complete admiration for the quality of effort that went into the whole affair. Oh and how wonderful the food looked!

I had just one frustration - I couldn't clearly see what dessert was on the menu. Was it ice cream I wondered? So I started searching on the Internet for what those honoured guests might have eaten.

Courtesy of the official website of the British Monarchy, I found a sample menu from an actual Royal Banquet. Not only that, but it gave the recipes for you to try at home. How wonderful! I wanted to put a link here to the page concerned but according to the official site's Terms they don't allow incoming links without formal permission. So rather than risk being hauled off to the Tower of London, I'll just tell you how to find the web page - go Google and search for "royal recipes to try at home". If you see a page listed with royal.gov in the domain that should be it.

Anyway, back to the point of this article ... I looked for the dessert on the sample 'royal' menu and found it listed as Parfait à la Meringue au Citron (Lemon Meringue Parfait). Then, when I read the recipe, I couldn't help but smile .... the recipe requires the use of an ice cream machine!

So there you have it, if an ice cream machine is needed to make a dessert for a Royal Banquet then that's as good an endorsement as you might ever find to invest in one. I certainly would not be without my ice cream maker!

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Feb 16, 2008


I heard a song on the radio the other day that I hadn't heard since I was a child, called "Sing A Rainbow" and it made me think of how a rainbow is a wonderful analogy for making ice cream.

Here's what I mean .... the song's lyrics include the line:

"red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue, I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too"

Red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple and blue - you can make ice cream in all these colors:

cherry ice cream

Next time someone remarks on seeing a beautiful rainbow, tell them it's an icecreambow too!

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Feb 13, 2008

Thoughts of Love For Valentine's Day

The older I get the more I start to see the funny side of life. Strange really because when I was younger I was often tempted to think that older people were too serious and 'stuffy' - well it must have been the naivety of youth because I was wrong! Which brings me to the point of this blog entry .... as Valentine's Day approaches, I wondered what famous people have thought and said publicly about 'love'. I read up on this and, to be honest, it's the witty quotations that appeal to me most.

Here are some great examples:
  • "Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love."
    Albert Einstein

  • "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known."
    Walt Disney

  • "The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post."
    George Bernard Shaw

The one I like the most is by Baltimore-born satirist Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) and could be a contender for the ultimate Valentine's Day card ....

"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence"

If you're interested in reading more great quotations, here are two top sites:


Looking for ideas of what to give a loved one on Valentine's Day? Fancing making them some great homemade ice cream? Look up my previous Blog article about Valentine's Day ice cream.

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Feb 6, 2008

Valentine's Day Ice Cream

Valentine's Day is not an important day for everyone but, for some, it's very special - a day for romance and the opportunity for lovers to declare their love for one another. So it is that on February 14 every year, millions of Valentine's cards and gifts (flowers, chocolates, candy, rings etc) are exchanged as tokens of affection.

But how's this for an idea .... instead of buying something to give to your loved one, why not make something yourself?

It could be anything from a homemade Valentine's card to a photo that you've taken, printed and had specially framed, or, better still why not make your loved one's favorite ice cream and serve it as a surprise!

With an ice cream maker and a little forethought you can come up with a great Valentine's Day treat. Here's what to do ...
  1. If you don't already know, then find out your Valentine's favorite ice cream flavor.

  2. Also find out how they like it served - simple scoops or a sundae, what toppings, what sauce and whether they like wafers or not.

  3. Search on the Net for a homemade ice cream recipe for that flavor and print/download the recipe so you know what ingredients to use.

  4. Go shopping for all the ingredients you are going to need including toppings etc if you're going to present your homemade ice cream as a Valentine's sundae.

Don't worry if what you make doesn't turn out as perfect as you would like - the fact that you have gone to such trouble plus the fact that you've done it out of love will be far more important and hopefully have the impact you're looking for!

In need of ideas for ice cream recipes? 2 great favorites are strawberry ice cream and chocolate ice cream - both these recipes are made with a custard or cream base giving you a rich and creamy homemade ice cream.

Interested in history? Read about the history of Valentine's Day

Want to know if you're a true romantic? Take an online Romantic Personality Test

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