It is Summer, Summer, Summer time... and what says Summer more than homemade ice cream? We pulled out the handy-dandy recipe booklet that came with our ice cream maker and decided to make Rocky Road ice cream. This necessitated some deviation from the recipe, we didn't have bars of semi-sweet chocolate, so we measured out an equal amount of semi-sweet chips. Lacking mini-marshmallows we instead chopped up a number of over-sized "camping" marshmallows (leftovers from the s'mores dessert of the previous night). We also lacked pecans and instead chopped up some walnuts.
Here's a few hints and tips for this recipe, a quick way to "chop" the nuts is to measure them into a plastic zip-top bag and bash them with a rolling pin; that's a fun way to get the kids involved too. Cutting up marshmallows proved to be much more difficult. Cutting them with scissors into small chunks only worked until the kitchen scissors gummed up, slicing them with a knife proved equally tricky and time consuming. Finally we hit upon pressing the marshmallows one by one through the largest grates on the Vidalia Onion chopper. We pressed them through by hand instead of using the chopper itself to keep it from getting gummed up. As the marshmallow was extruded through the grid it would stick together into a shredded lump, but once it hit the milk and chocolate mixture that formed the base it would break apart into discrete pieces again.
Another hint is to make sure you remove the ice cream from the ice cream churn (the metal tube it turns in) and pack it firmly into individual containers before freezing it in the freezer. We started making ice cream at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon, but we didn't get to eat it until 8 o'clock that night, so it is certainly not a quick process! However it was totally worth the wait! Meltingly smooth and chocolatey with delicious chunks of walnut and marshmallow it went down a treat after a dinner of pulled pork, mashed potatoes, corn niblets, and green beans.
A brief note on the pulled pork, I read a recipe where you cover a pork tenderloin in A&W Root beer and cook it in the crockpot for several hours. I decided to try it but first I seasoned the meat with a spicy sugar-free BBQ pork rub and then used the root beer. There are a lot of recipes out there that call for cooking meat (especially pork) with various types of soda, ginger ale, Sprite, Coca-Cola even! The meat was very tender and very moist but I do have to say that it wasn't overly sweet nor did it have any discernible root beer flavor. We served it on buns and topped it with a vinegar based Carolina style BBQ sauce. Delish!