Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TASTE THE 80'S : ICE CREAM & TAFFY SINCLAIR




Sometimes my mouth waters for the distinct taste of Hostess potato chips - Hot Barbecue or Hot Stuff Mister Vickies but sadly both flavors have gone the way of the dinosaur - Dinosaur Eggs that is ( candy pun! ) , and are now extinct. Some flavors though not really 80's will always stick in your mind as 80's cause you ate them when you were a kid. Like Cheez-whiz on toast.Other flavors and candy while not entirely 80's have had their moment and are now in a long line of discontinued flavors like - Cantalope , Honey- Vanilla , Carob and Gumdrop ice cream. Gumdrop I think was discontinued because the frozen gumdrops were like shrapnel on your teeth , gimmicky ice cream flavors like ketchup and chili were fast withdrawn ( for good reason ) and names like Baskin-Robbins Sesame Sweet were created to highlight specific fads or favored image icons. Other candy items like chocolate Bonkers , and Dr. Pepper gum are gone but for me even though it’s still around purple soap gum , Thrills will always be an 80's treat.



What sparked this taste bud tingling trip down candy lane?
Taffy Sinclair Strikes Again - Betsy Haynes - The sequel to the much raved about and popular The Against Taffy Sinclair club. The story was filled with all kinds of things ( which will be discussed later ) like Halloween costumes , The beginnings of the Fabulous Five and a make-shift Slam book. But the one scene that got me reminiscing about old flavors is on page 63 where Jana’s mom takes her to an ice cream shop that promises 45? Flavors. Jana debates between her two favorite flavors - bubblegum and peanut butter and jelly - the later of which she can’t stand to look at when she’s eating cause brown ice cream streaked with purple is just too gross. While her mom orders a single scoop of coconut almond mocha , she eenie-meenie-minie-moed and wound up with peanut butter and jelly which she ate with her eyes shut! I love the fact that Jana can just sit there in a shopping mall licking an ice cream cone with her eyes shut and not care if it looks goony or not - And Jana in the Taffy Sinclair books is always super-worried about how she
looks. Jana loses some of her goofiness in the Fabulous Five books like she didn’t turn from twelve to thirteen but twelve to sixteen her immaturity and knack for getting herself into potentially embarrassing situations has melted away much like certain ice cream flavors.





Ah! Childhood the land of freaky ice cream flavors - Tiger tail? Anyone still get that? Whenever I can find in a liter box of Chapman’s I buy it - melon / cantaloupe flavor striped with licorice! It’s one of my favorites along blue bubblegum , cotton candy , apple pie , banana split , mint chocolate chip , boston cream pie and Heavenly hash.

I love trying out new recipes and new things and decided after buying a very 80's single serving ice cream maker to try and make an ice cream flavor that reflected , for me - the 80's. Nerds ice cream? No I think that’s been done , Candy mixed in was too Dairy-Queen blizzard , and though I thought seriously about dumping in lik-m-aid or maybe even crushing up the yummy lik-m-aid sticks ( which have a very unique flavor) ,I came back to my old favorite and settled on soap gum - That’s right I made SOAP GUM ICE CREAM.

If you’re in the mood for something bizarre try it out! It’s creamy and has the distinct taste of soap gum , almost as if you were eating a melty soap gum Creamsicle!

SOAP GUM ICE CREAM RECIPE
½ Pint of Milk
½ Pint of Heavy Cream
4 egg yolks
100 grams of Sugar
2 to 3 packages of Thrills soap gum.

Put gum in a pot pour enough water in to cover the soap gum , set it on a medium heat till all the purple coating has melted off and scoop out the gum , careful if you leave it too long the gum starts to break down and get sticky like marshmallows! After you’ve scooped out the gum , boil the purple juice for a while till it shrinks down to about 100 grams ( two or three tablespoons ). Set aside , let cool. In another pot , slowly bring milk to a slow boil ( watch for scalding! ) add soap gum juice. Set aside. In a bowl , beat together the egg yolks and the sugar till they thicken pour milk mixture over egg yolk mixture , stir , and pour back into pot , heat , super gently when mixture makes a film over your spoon then it’s done. Set it aside and let it cool. Take a chilled mixing bowl pour in the cool pudding like mixture and then stir in the cream. Add to ice cream maker. Voila! ( Now the color is like a very pale lilac - it looked terrific a very bright mauve till the cream was poured in so if you want to emphasis the color you’ll have to drop in some food dye. )



Why not alter the recipe and get crazy?! Dr. Pepper ice cream , Skittles ice cream ,
Red hots cinnamon ice cream! Let your imagination run wild it's a fun way of incorporating a childhood treat into a new fun dessert!

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The real Bruce Patman
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