Ice cream is defined as a noun, a sweet frozen food made from a mixture of cream, milk or a custard base, flavored in various ways, containing at least 10% milkfat.
But it is so much more to those of us who think it's God's perfect food and crave it at every meal.
For some, comfort food is warm: mac'n'cheese, mashed potatoes or soup. Those of us on the cool, sweet and creamy end of the continuum head straight for the puddings and ice cream.
My addiction began at an early age and like most addicts, I blame my parents.
DADDY = ICE CREAM
Ice cream was one of the basic food groups as I was growing up. My father used to say, when I snubbed my nose at his pistachio over my chocolate, "Ina, there's no such thing as bad ice cream."
One of my most delicious memories happened one snowy night, when I was about 8, and it was the first time I was allowed to stay up late. My mother wanted ice cream, and my father asked if I wanted to go with him. Did I ever!
Going out "in the dark" on a mission to get ice cream made me feel giddy and grown up at the same time. We brought home 'frappes', as they were called in Brooklyn
in 1951. One tall, round white container had ice cream, a smaller one held hot fudge, and the third, whipped cream with a cherry.
We each assembled our late-night treat and ate. I remember being very still and focused on every sensation, knowing this was a really special occasion.
My guilt over my sleeping 6-year-old brother not getting ice cream, however, made me take the containers and bury them in the trash so he wouldn't see them in the morning.
Seedling at Chicago's Green City Market is my source for the best fruits of the season. The Red Haven peaches this year are divine and I immediately unpacked my new Cuisinart ice cream maker.
I wanted to make an easy recipe that didn't require making a custard first, wasn't too sweet and had lots of peach taste AND peaches in it. And here it is:
2 large ripe Red Haven peaches, peeled and roughly chopped - saving all the juices
2 cups of Whipping Cream
1 cup of Half and Half
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar - divided (I use Turbinado)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (I use Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
Sprinkle salt and 1/4 cup of sugar on the peaches and let them sit for 30 minutes.
Put the half and half into a heavy saucepan and add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Warm over medium-low heat just until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir until blended.
Pour the warm mixture over the peaches and mix well. Add the cream and mix again.
Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until chilled.
Freeze according to the machine's instructions.
Up until the night he died, my father was always the best company, especially over a bowl of ice cream.
Follow Ina Pinkney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/breakfastqueen1