A co-worker told me about a book of ice cream recipes, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, and I am hooked. I had been cobbling together my own versions of the recipes that came with my ice cream machine, but those were nothing compared to what I can do now. So far I have made the Roasted Pistachio and the Buckeye State ice creams; tonight it is Baked Rhubarb frozen yogurt.
One thing I had discovered on my own was that ice cream turns out better if the sweetener is heated with the milk, and that is what Jeni does, and then some: the milk and cream and sweetener (usually sugar and a bit of light corn syrup) are boiled together for four minutes. Since my milk comes "raw", I like that I can feed this homemade ice cream to guests without disclaimers.
The recipes in this book come with all kinds of crazy flavor combos, like Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry ice cream and Cucumber, Honeydew, and Cayenne frozen yogurt. They are sorted by season and share a common base, so it is easy to be creative. There are also recipes for sorbets, sauces, cones, cookies, even marshmallows made from scratch.
I don't know why, but I get a lot of satisfaction from making food from scratch. If I can use produce from my garden (I planted corn and cucumbers today), that is even better. This book will keep me busy for a while.
Gotta go now - the frozen yogurt is ready!