Can you really have pizza for Thanksgiving?
We really do eat quite a lot of roast chicken at our house. Not just because it’s my signature dish, or because it makes the house smell fab, or because I’ve named a website after it [http://www.oneroastchicken.com] – no, really, I like the leftovers. I like making chicken broth with the bones, fat, skin, onion peels, celery tops, carrots that are a little bendy from too much time in the bottom of the fridge. I like freezing the broth in glass mason jars (that in the summer are used to make strawberry rhubarb jam).
There’s something very ‘un-martha’ about defrosting the glass jars of broth in the microwave, scooping off the neatly separated fat, and using the liquid … well, I use quite a bit for cooking rice. And chicken noodle soup with short egg noodles or long spaghetti noodles or alphabets depending on which one I grab first.
I super love making curried chicken with the leftover dark meat, with carrots and small red potatoes with their skins left on. Served with rice cooked in even more broth, of course. It’s a meal in a bowl which makes for a good Friday night, eat-on-your-lap kind of meal (right now we’re watching Sex in the City, starting with season 1, as A.’s never seen it before, and the DVD is fabulously equipped with French subtitles).
On Thanksgiving weekend, just past, we’d had enough chicken and variations. The husband asked for homemade deep dish pan pizza and apple pie. Oh, I’ve got so much to tell you – how I took Nick’s online request for Dutch apple pie and went on a research adventure and came up with a spectacular pie that was both tart and squish in all the right places. I’ll tell you more about how to make a really great Dutch apple pie in another letter…
But really, you need to know this. What apple pie wouldn’t be complete without some kind of cool, sweet accompaniment. Whipped cream, maybe, or ice cream. I’ll confess I don’t like ice cream very much. I can take it or leave it. A. picked out the cheapest no-name brand of vanilla, the kind in the soft cardboard box with the lid that never goes back on properly. So while the pie was cooking, while the pizza was rising, and A. was playing guitar at the dining room table, I had a flash of genius. What if … what if I added stuff to this cheap ice cream?
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Start with a medium sized bowl. Put four large scoops of vanilla ice cream in the bowl. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. It’ll look like a lot but frozen foods need lots of extra flavouring. Add ½ teaspoon real or artificial vanilla extract. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or not). Stir until the cinnamon is well blended. The ice cream will begin to melt a little, which makes it easier to stir. Scoop into a lovely serving dish, swirl the top so it’s beautiful, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the freezer for half an hour or more.
I’m not kidding, it was amazing ice cream. It was almost (nearly but not quite) better than the pie, is that even possible? I can seen other variations in my future, maybe crushed shiny peppermints with peppermint extract, or nuts with almond extract, or fresh sliced strawberries and a tablespoon or more of dessert wine… I mean, why not?