I am reasonably sure that most creative people have tried to make ice cream at home. When they do, they find they love it. But they also find it lacks that texture and consistency, that “quality,” that comes when you pry open a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
When we get right down to it, it’s hard to make ice cream. At least it seems that way as compared to opening the freezer, grabbing a spoon and prying off the top of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
But like all things that are worth it… you’ve heard this before… say it with me now… “It’s the hard that makes it great!” (A bow of deference to the great Jimmy Dugan).
It’s not really hard per se. (what does per se actually mean, I wonder…) It’s that it takes practice. There it is again… roll the tape: “I’m talkin about practice, man. Practice.” If you try it a few times and fiddle with it a bit, it is perfectly reasonable to never, ever buy ice cream again.
I didn’t realize this until a confluence of two thoughts made their way through the labyrinth of my brain this week. The first was an earlier post when I listed off the things I won’t buy any longer: Sauce, Salsa, Peanut Butter. Then as The Bride and I made our grocery list with her talking and me hardly paying attention, she said “Ice cream… uh no… you like to make your own ice-cream don’t you?”
About ten seconds later her words finished the cerebral cortex gauntlet and I said, “Yes. Uh No. No ice-cream. I’ll make it. Yes.”
The Bride was long gone on this thought and kept right along with her list, but I fermented a bit. Add Ice-cream to the list of things I’ll never buy again? Perhaps. Because finally, I realized, my creations lack nothing I get when I pry off a lid of Ben and Jerry’s. In fact, the best recipes I have come from the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Cookbook, so I’m really not missing out. Over the years I tweaked the recipes to perfect them. The last batch I made — with Effin Artist Peanut Butter I might add — was, well, I’d say the batch was … evolved.
That’s how I’d say it, EVOLVED. It kept well for several days, tasted like fresh peanut butter (served over Effin Artist Brownie) and when finished had that grainy, creamy texture, that “quality” homemade ice cream used to lack.
It was one of those Effin Artist moments, indeed.
So knowing my love for lists, ice cream is now on the Things-I-won’t-buy list for good.
Here’s where the real ding went off in my head. It wasn’t hard anymore. Through practice, I have worked out the recipe to realize that it isn’t that hard at all.
Sort of life like when you get down to it. As M. Scott Peck wrote, “Life is difficult.
“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. This is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
Just like ice cream.