Are we ready for Christmas yet? Every fiber in my body is telling me to go to sleep. My feet yelled, “Have a nana nap, for God’s sake!” but I didn’t listen. There are people coming, blog posts to write, websites to support, carpets to vacuum, cookies to bake, laundry to wash, dog to pat and feed, dinner to cook and …life.
I know I’m not alone, everyone’s the same way except the food blogger who said she was all done her Christmas preparations the week before Thanksgiving. I refuse to remember her name because I don’t want to hate her. She’s sitting in her chair sipping eggnog and reading a book. I’ve never had a Christmas like that — Christmas sneaks up on me every year.
As I’m sweating my eyebrows off in the summer heat, I think about my sister in Rhinebeck, NY and my brother who’s spending Christmas with his little granddaughters near Boston. It’s cold, the Christmas lights come on at 5:30pm, there’s a whiff of real Christmas trees everywhere and it *feels* like Christmas. I can’t say I’m homesick because I’m truly not.
I miss Christmas in the winter. It’s just how it should be. I know all my Aussie friends think I’m nuts because for them Christmas has always been in the summer and Santa has always gotten beer and worn sandals.
Charlie was less than impressed with the cheap hat and scarf. He refused to look and the more I laughed the more he looked away. FINALLY, I said, “Would you like a piggy?” (That’s dogspeak for a dried pig’s ear) He still refused to look at me but he did change direction.
Today I made an Australian Christmas dessert that’s perfect for the 35C/95F temperatures we’ve got today. I made some shortbread in the Thermomix that took all of 30 seconds. The ice cream took a bit longer because I needed to make the custard and chill it before freezing.
I bought a new Cuisinart ice cream machine to replace my Nemox that lost it’s turner arounder. I should have bought a replacement part because I don’t like the new one as well as my Nemox. I might do that anyway just so I have a spare. You never want to be without an ice cream machine, right?
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and pureed
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 mango for garnish
- In a saucepan on medium heat, add the milk and sugar and heat until nearly boiling (you'll see small bubbles at the side of the pan)
- In another bowl whisk the egg yolks for a couple of minutes.
- When the milk is hot and while whisking the egg yolks, slowly add a little bit of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Add a little more milk while continuing to whisk.
- Then pour the egg yolk mixture back in the pan and put it back on medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and the mango puree and whisk to combine.
- Refrigerate until cool.
- Whisk in the cream and freeze according to your ice cream machine's directions.
To serve, I crumbled up one shortbread cookie and put the mango ice cream on top with a bit of whipped cream and garnished with some mango slices.
- 100 grams plain/all purpose flour
- 50 grams rice flour
- 50 grams caster/superfine sugar
- 100 grams cold butter
- Put all ingredients into the Thermomix and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds.
- Lock the bowl and knead for 20 seconds.
- Put into a greased shortbread mould and bake at 160C/320F for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a board.
- Cut into serving pieces.