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Dynamite Ice Cream

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Sometimes there are things in this life that you have to eat no matter what the consequences. You have to block out the nasty knowledge you have about fat and heart disease and go back to your childhood, where, in my case, you could find print ads with doctors endorsing cigarettes. Holy Smokes!

The other day, my husband took me to Williams Sonoma to buy the latest model Cuisinart. That's for another article, by the way because it is a cook's wet dream.

What we hadn't planned on was purchasing an ice cream maker, also made by Cuisinart. The little devil was $60 and there was a cute cookbook we bought, as well. The recipes went from labor intensive, (custard based gelato), to simple, (ice creams and sorbets). Of course, my daughter Hannah and I had to attack the custard one. I rationalized that it was about time my beautiful 15-year-old learn basic custard. We chose a cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream because those were pantry staples.

The whisking and the tempering and the straining all went as planned, then Hannah lost interest and went into the living room to watch Family Guy because I'm Mother of The Year. The mixture had to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Like a watched pot, I took the bowl out of the fridge after two hours exactly. Hannah had moved on to Gossip Girl because I'm a saint and should be writing parenting books.

The thing is, I have this problem. I really, really believe, most of the time, that I've read the directions carefully. This ice cream maker couldn't be simpler. It only has three parts! It has two insulated bowls that reside in the freezer so you can "do-si-do" them at will -- (Boy do they know their audience) -- a paddle-like, churning device that fits snugly inside the bowl, and a dome that goes over the whole enterprise. You place the bowl on top of the motor platform and simply switch it on. BUT, I poured the contents of my mixture into the bowl before I'd put the paddle device in it. You're not gonna get nuthin' doin' it like that... plus, the bowl is very, very cold. Whatever it comes into contact with, freezes right away, so you can imagine what a party it was for me to get the mixture out of the bowl, place the paddle inside the bowl, then re-pour my mixture. I suppose dynamite could have added a nice dimension to the flavor. Crap!

Nevertheless, the end result was magnificent! And lucky for me, Chuck Bass saw Blair in Paris and Serena talked him into coming back to New York, so, Hannah witnessed none of my folly and I was a hero in my daughter's eyes.

The stage was set for another try. Seriously people, the custard was unnecessarily time consuming. You can mix cream, milk, vanilla, sugar and a puree of your favorite fruit (strawberries from the Sunday Farmers Market in Beverly Hills), let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours and proceed with the proper protocol. I took my ice cream to a sick friend and I'm certain it hastened her recovery.

There is no reason to ever BUY ice cream again. The one caveat is that you rationalize making it when you know damn well you're going to eat it while watching Project Runway, or The Closer, or Glee, or Law & Order SVU, or Hellcats, or 30 Rock or Madmen....

- By Laraine Newman