I have made a habit of not having packaged food around the house and eat homemade food from basic ingredients. In moments of human weakness disguised as reward, I am guilty of blatant disregard of my professed lifestyle by rushing to the closest store for ultra novel hyper palatable junk food in the form of ice cream, cookies, and potato chips of all kinds. This is usually consumed in a bacchanalia of overindulgence until no evidence of it remains. Almost like it never happened. Realizing these psychotic outbreaks need to change, I set on a path to emulate the experience without sacrificing my moral code.
It started with chocolate chip cookies. Stocking the ingredients of Kerrygold butter, King Arthur flour and gourmet sugar and chocolate drops was the first step. Knowing the ingredients were in my cabinet and convinced they will taste better than any packaged purchase, I began to explore making treats.
Next step was to render pork fat to fry chips and donuts. Pork fat is the king of frying oils. It also has the second highest vitamin A and D in the world, making it a true health food. Frying a lot of potatoes is all labor and almost no cost. Dipping sauces whipped from sour cream and spices keeps the blood sugars in better order than bottled ketchup, ranch or bbq sauce full of corn syrup, vegetable oils and preservatives.
My latest emulation is the fast food burger and giant burrito. I like to keep 4 pounds of ground beef/pork thawing in the fridge at all times. Dicing onions, roasting potatoes, peeling green chiles and shredding a large pile of real cheese takes hours of effort and clean up. However, the gushing compliments I receive after the family has eaten a mountain of authentic burritos makes it all worth while.
Ice cream got my attention a couple of years ago. At first, I rationalized buying only high end brands with better and fewer ingredients. Thinking I could engineer a better product, I spent hours researching recipes and testing different ice cream makers. When I stock all the ingredients on hand, it is easier, faster and cheaper to make a half gallon of sweet ice cream than run to a store to satisfy the immediate gratification of purchase and consumption.
Ultra premium ice cream is a combination of milk, cream, eggs, honey, salt and freezer technology. Real dairy is made of protein, lactose and fat soluble vitamins. Real eggs are full of necessary cholesterol and protein. Honey is pure magic and salt is electrolytes. Put it all together with love in a machine that drops to -30 degrees F in twenty minutes while churning in air bubbles create what I call the Frozen Land of Milk and Honey.
Quart of Whole Milk
Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream
6 Whole Eggs
Pound of Honey
Pinch of Salt
Dash of Vanilla
Swig of distilled neutral spirits
I bought and tested many ice cream machines and finally settled on a 1.5 L Whynter brand ice-less with a built in refrigeration compressor. When I mix the right ingredients with enough love into the right machine, the result is so tasty and satisfying that I believe it is actually a health food disguised as an indulgent sin.
Warning! If you attain this elevated effort, you might not enjoy store bought ice cream ever again at any price.