Sep 26, 2009

Paul Newman's Recipe For Shared Happiness

It's not often that these words come together in a meaningful context:

  • celebrity

  • food

  • philanthropy

However, I can think of one person who achieved just that. He was a great actor and a unique individual. Who am I talking about? The legendary Paul Newman who died one year ago today.

He made some great movies, amongst which are two of my family's favorites - 'The Hustler' and 'The Color of Money'. Playing the character of 'Fast' Eddie Felsen, a pool hustler, he played it to perfection. No-one could have done it better. We are 9 ball fans in our house so these are must-see movies every once in a while.

However, in addition to being an exceptional actor, Paul Newman was perhaps one of the most genuine, modern day philanthropists the world has seen. If you visit his Newmans Own foods website there is a delightful video clip of him explaining how he started the company, by accident almost it seems and he goes on to talk about the need to help others less fortunate and how luck plays a part in all our lives. His words are spoken with genuine warmth, sincerity and honesty. His motives for the food company are clear and the success of Newman's Own Foundation is astonishing. Donating all profits to charity, the Foundation has given over US$265 million to charity since 1982. Learn more about Newmans Own Foundation

Paul Newman took his own food recipes and turned them into a unique success, getting the most important recipe right - the recipe for shared happiness. The world is certainly better for his having lived and, through his foundation, his energy and compassion will continue to shine for a long time to come. Perhaps the best description of him was actually made by himself when he once said ...

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out."

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Sep 19, 2009

Special Ice Cream Spoons

When I make ice cream sundaes at home, I always make a point of selecting the right ice cream glass and ice cream spoon. Now that may sound a little odd but it's true ... and important.

For example, if I make a fresh batch of ice cream and serve it straight from my ice cream maker, then a long, plastic ice cream spoon will suffice, especially if its for children. Plastic spoons are not hard and cold on the teeth and mine also have fun, colourful decorations on the end (miniature ice cream sundaes in fact) which children find attractive. However, if it's some ice cream made previously and just taken out of freezer storage then, even though it's been left a few minutes to soften a little, it can be a little tough to eat with a plastic spoon so in that case I select a long, stainless steel one. Not as decorative perhaps but more practical.

In addition to these spoons, however, there is another very different and very special one. It is stainless steel and has a double bend in the middle that allows you to place it on the edge of your ice cream sundae glass so you can take a break in between mouthfuls. Ingenious! I first saw it beside a wonderful chocolate ice cream sundae made for my husband at the San Remo Gelataria (ice cream parlor) in Zandvoort. The spoon was one of the parlor's special ones and when they saw my reaction to it they were kind enough to let me take it home! It now has pride of place in my 'ice cream cupbaord'. Molto grazie!

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Sep 5, 2009

Ice Lollies, Ice Pops, Popsicles & Ice Blocks - Ice Cream On A Stick

Many of my readers are from the USA & Canada and to them the term "popsicle" is a familiar one. However, for the 1 in 5 of you who read my Blog Of Ice Cream and live elsewhere in the world, this word will be nothing more than a word you have perhaps heard in American movies. So let's look into this a little more ....

First of all, where did "popsicle" come from? Well, it was originally a brand name but, like many brand names (eg. Hoover), it was adopted as a genericized trade mark referring to any ice pop irrespective of brand. That perhaps explains why it's a term indigenous to North America.

In Britain the more familiar term is "ice lolly"

In Ireland it's "ice pop" or "lolly ice"

In Australia & New Zealnd it's "ice block" or sometimes "icy pole" (again from a brand name)

So who first made an "ice pop" or "ice lolly"? According to Wikipedia, it was back in 1905 when Frank Epperson (aged just 11) left a glass of soda water powder and water out on his porch with a wooden mixing stick in it. The temperature dropped below freezing that night and the next morning Frank found the soda water frozen inside the glass. When he ran it under hot water he found he could remove the frozen chunk using the stick ... and then naturally he ate it!

If you like popsicles - or ice pops - or ice lollies - or ice blocks (I'm sure I will have missed someone out here and if I apologise!), then try my rhubarb popsicle recipe. Delicious! There are also some great popsicle makers & molds to buy on the ICR Amazon store.

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