8.21.2011

MY KIND OF FOSSIL FUEL, COURTESY OF BEN AND JERRY


I'm never abstemious about what I eat. I like food too much to keep it to a nibble. I know not to get into patterns of sugar binges. But I also know that sometimes, resistance is useless. Especially in front of a freezer full of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It gives new meaning to biofuel. Frank Bruni, whose fabulous memoir I reviewed a while back, wrote a delicious column in the Times this morning, and triggered a craving.

I happen to be crazy about one flavor, and only one flavor: "Everything But The...". (Yes, I always finish the line..."the kitchen sink".) This is the flavor that includes everything that goes into all the other flavors--peanut butter cups and nuts and chocolate bits, gobs of dough, everything delightful. One day I noticed that my pint was delivering on aesthetic appeal, too. It was full of beautiful fossils--especially the ribbed imprints left behind by the chunks of peanut butter cups. Marvelous.

I don't indulge in "Everything But The..." very often. But when I do, I banish guilt, silence the alarmed disciplinary nattering that crackles in my brain, and I just dig in whole heartedly. Yes. This is called indulging. And every once in a while, indulgence is its own form of gratitude. Thank you, Ben and Jerry, for everything but the kitchen sink. 

26 comments:

profA said...

Ahhh. Indulge away. I sat down to read your post munching on a basil bedecked Mortgage Lifter on toast slathered in Duke's mayo. That's my idea of indulgence. ONly available from the garden a few weeks during the summer.
Enjoyed the Bruni bit so much. This post combines many of your strong suits: writing about the pleasures of our senses, photography, and political bedevilment. Could it be the chocolate speaking??

Hope you are making a significant dent in the B&J's. It tastes best on summer days like this one and if you are lounging in the hammock, it will have the salty tang of the bay. Lucky!
Linda B.

david terry said...

It's nice, of course, to read about ice-cream. When I was growing-up, we used to be deluged with peaches and catfish at about the same time every year. My great aunts would mash/slice peaches and pull out the ice-cream maker, while my great-uncle Ormond would sling the catfish along the fence (an ugly business, I thought at the time, which entailed snaring their gills on the pickets) before driving a screwdriver through each of their heads. A few hours later, we and a lot of other giddy folks would have fried catfish and peach ice-cream. Most of the children (including me) gorged as much as they could and then, later, threw up in the bushes out back. Young as we were back in those days, we could stand only so much excitement.

I've been doing a bit of "cooling off" myself (which has included the incredibly hot business of canning and otherwise processing about 100 pounds of tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers over the past two weeks. I have a big garden).

That said?...and in reply to a question from "Priscilla" (following the :"hammock" posting: "for those not in the loop, can you TELL us what happened that david terry is no longer commenting. I seem to be the only one who doesn't know the inside scoop".)

I stopped posting almost a month ago simply because a number of people were (for the second time) putting Ms. Browning in an untenable and extremely unpleasant situation. As I've written previously, this sort of little catfight can scarcely be productive or even minimally amusing for other readers....particularly those who have come to the blog for the first time and who can be justifiably excused for wondering "What the hell is going ON in this blog?". I don't participate in such online "flame-wars". I've repeatedly informed a few folks that they can contact me directly and spare others their discontents. Predictably enough, NONE of them has ever done so in the least (although one publicly chided me for "giving out" my contact information....which simply led me to consider that he's a 'fraidy-cat in more ways than I'd already suspected).

In the same vein?.... I was highly surprised, about a week ago, to find that, even when I hadn't posted in three weeks, two different readers made a very public point of declaring their "relief" over my absence. That seemed enterprisingly gratuitous and self-congratulatory of them. I have no idea why one particularly self-congratulatory woman felt compelled to second-that-emotion by publicly expressing her "I don't miss him either!" "thoughts" (sorry to use scare-quotes twice, but it's appropriate). I read her comment and thought "This is like being back in the high school cafeteria with the self-appointed cheerleaders....". Once again, how could such a comment be productive or even minimally amusing for Ms Browning or other readers..particularly newcomers? (please continue to the following posting....)

profA said...

Nice to hear from you again, David Terry.
LindaB.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ach! You're killin' me!
I find if I can avoid purchasing it in the first place, I can avoid eating it. But.... ooh. So good.

mary said...

Oh, I love ice cream............And David Terry, glad to see that you are back!! The human condition has doses of narcissism and narrow-mindedness. Mary

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

I have ice cream...Everyday in the summer. Never in the fall, spring or winter. Okay, on Apple pie. As a matter of fact I just finished sailing and I am heading over to where I can get my "fix" right now!!

Happy Sunday!!

Judith Ross said...

Is enjoying food without guilt a feminist issue? I don't know, but sometimes it feels like one.

My 88-year old stepmother, who is skin and bones replied to my promise to bring her some ice cream recently by saying "I don't want to get fat!"

I think she was joking, but in the past I have wanted to ask her, "at what age are we allowed to enjoy food?"

Clearly, the answer is now.

pve design said...

My Grandmother liked sugar and salt and in her 90's my Dad said, She can eat Everything but the Kitchen sink!
Enjoy life's sweet moments.
pve

Dominique said...

Hi David--welcome back! A good message from you, too, re the etiquette of posting.

Linda B I'm afraid you are going to have to share your recipe; it sounds like something I would love. I have the basil, ready. Please tell us, what is a Mortgage Lifter?!

Judith, you know, I think you are right! It is a feminist issue! Sure, a health issue too, but before we get there, we have such distorted views of our bodies, that getting to the point of eating guilt-free--and running, walking, biking, swimming, just because we want to, not to torture ourselves...seems liberating!

Deborah A said...

I am not as disciplined as you are Dominique, I have a small helping of frozen lo fat/yogurt( usually peach) in the evenings...my treat for making thru the day.
To David Terry, great to hear from you again, you should not stop posting because someone or two don't like your posts....the majority of the people enjoy your stories, enough to ask about you several times. You should know by now that not everyone likes you...sometimes people just rub other folks the wrong way...who know why. In my life I have usually been able to trace this type of behavior to jealousy and envy.
However, you are correct about the remarks...my mother always said "if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all" very good advice that I hear in my head often these days.
I say be yourself and don't let someone elses shortcomings impact you. You are a unique human being with a great deal to offer. Don't be bullied.
Tell us what you do with all the canned tomatoes and peppers and eggplant.
Lastly, don't worry about Dominique, she can handle a bully, she can set the tone of this site.

Anonymous said...

Yay-Dominique! Yay-David! Yay-Deborah A!! Lovely! Sheryl

profA said...

Well, Dominique, Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes are a beefsteak-ish/brandywine-ish tomato developed by MC Byles (Radiator Charlie to his intimates) in the 1930's. Sales were so reliably strong that he was able to pay off his $6000. mortgage in 6 years, during the 1940's. Those were the days! and hence the name. They are very tasty. Meaty. Few seeds. You have to eat them quickly when they ripen. They go off after that.
Seeds are sold on "tomatofest.com" but lots of plantsmen carry them as sets, now that heirlooms are widely available again.
I made my sandwich on a whole grain bread (toasted), but hey, white bread is good, baguette, could be fine. I just prefer Duke's mayo, but one's favorite mayo or dressing is the way to go. Fresh basil is a lovely thing.
I have recently discovered, after being up to my elbows in tomatoes recently, that raw tomatoes are a wonderful cuticle tamer and leave the nails nice and shiny. Not dried out. Shiny!

Deborah A said...

ProfA
Thank you so much for the info on the tomatoes...I know what I'm having for dinner tonite! Also the hint about the tomatoes (? acid) taming the cuticles...great suggestion. I have been gifted with a bag of big very ripe beefy tomatoes, I will mush a few up with my hands for a impromptu sauce. As for mayo...when I was growing up all we ever had in our house was "Miracle Whip", now I can't get used to any other type of "real Mayo". I love these kinds of posts and comments...they just make me feel good!

Judith Ross said...

The tomatoes from our local organic farm seem particularly flavorful this year. We've had a fair amount of rain in Massachusetts this summer, but also our fair share of warm sunny days too. I guess the tomato plants like this weather.

I've been eating Mortage Lifters without realizing it! The only difference between Prof A's and mine is that I use my own homemade mayonnaise.

Last night I made a salad of cucumber from a friend's garden, the above mentioned organic tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.

My older son was home for the weekend. I had to laugh when he asked me this afternoon, "Mom, what was that dressing you put on the salad last night?" Olive oil, salt, pepper, that's it!

Savoring summer produce -- and the B&J's Everything.... definitely some summertime Slow Love.

CHC said...

Nothing better than thickly sliced home grown tomato, on good white bread, with real mayo, salt & pepper!

Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner! As long as the tomato season lasts!

For dessert - B&J's, with a dish towel wrapped around the carton, so you don't freeze your fingers.

The very best part of August!

Dominique said...

I can only hope Frank Bruni is listening in, these sandwiches sound incredible. Thanks Prof. I would write more, but I am in a hurry to get to the kitchen, bring out the Hellmann's, and have a feast.

profA said...

Yes, CHC, nothing better than all that. As for the mayo thing, that is such a personal taste and so often related to what we knew in the lunch box. Yes, Hellmann's is also a big favorite, Dominique. I started on Duke's years back because it didn't have any sugar in those days.
And, I liked the olde timey label. And I agree, that B&J's is the perfect follow on. Cheers!
Linda B.

SweetRetreat said...

Welcome back David Terry - you were missed by many. The negative comments were unfortunate, just so glad to see your name back as a commenter.

100 lbs of tomatoes! I am sure you make something delicious. I like to make Tomato Butter.

I'm a boring French vanilla ice cream person.

This is such a nice gentle posting. Perfect reading as we feel the summer ending.

jennifer said...

Just want to say, for the record, that I am a big fan of this blog, Ms. Browning, all frozen desserts and Mr Terry.

Thumb your nose to the bullies, life is too short to be censored.

madrededudley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith Ross said...

Dear "Madrededudley,"

Are you sure that Ben and Jerry's ice cream contains growth hormones? I did a little research after I saw your comment, because I, too, really care about this stuff.

According to their web site at least, they make a point of NOT using milk that contains the growth hormone rBGH and that they had to sue the state of Illinois for the right to state that on their ice cream cartons.

That said, hey, if you can buy locally made small-batch ice cream, why not?

And, David Terry -- Your catfish story reminds me of all the times I went fishing up in Maine with our next door neighbors, who were originally from the south. Whenever a catfish made its way onto one of our lines, Mr. E. would always warn us, "Don't let it gig you," before whacking it in a manner similar to what you describe.

david terry said...

Speaking of catfish?....

One of my favorite "overheard in the line at the Food Lion" remarks recently came from a middle-aged woman in what were obviously house-shoes. She was commenting on yet another magazine-cover featuring yet another starlet who'd had her lips surgically "plumped", and she said (to no one in particular) "That woman's mouth looks like a god-damn catfish".

So much for the supportive bonds of sisterhood, I suppose....

She was, however, sort of horrifyingly right.

amusedly,

david terry
www.davidterryart.com

madrededudley said...

Judith- I researched further and found (as you stated) that Ben & Jerry's claims not to use milk containing hormones. I guess I was misinformed before, but still am skeptical because they are owned by Unilever. In addition, they use ingredients such as corn syrup, hydrogenated soybean oil and alkalized cocoa in their ice cream, which I just don't think is necessary.

I suppose it all depends on the trust you have in a brand. Who is proving that the milk is hormone free? The USDA certainly isn't looking out for us!

Thanks for forcing me to go back and look at the issue again, but I will continue to stick to more local, responsible companies, or try to skip the ice cream all together. Better yet, perhaps an ice cream maker is in my future?

Judith Ross said...

Dear Madredudley,
I think your skepticism is healthy! I say go for the ice cream maker and then when you find the perfect recipe, share it with Slow Love Life!

Dominique said...

Madreddedudly:
Thanks for your comments, they have given me much to look up. I didn't even know what alkalized cocoa meant, so here's a definition from Hershey's--but all the definitions I googled said the same thing, in less detail.

Alkalized cocoa powders, sometimes referred to as Dutched, come from cocoa nibs and/or chocolate liquor that have been treated with mild alkali solutions in order to raise the pH. This alkalizing or dutching process is a safe and approved process for cocoa that is used to modify the color, taste, and functionality of cocoa powder in food products. Alkalization can be used to create a range of dark brown and red-brown colors that add desirable appearances to some food products that contain cocoa powders. Alkalization can improve taste by reducing some of the sourness and bitterness associated with natural cocoa powders. The alkalization of cocoa powder can also improve the solubility of cocoa powder in certain beverage applications.

Re your skepticism about the hormone free milk. I know, I have to agree, who is monitoring this? Great question.

D&G Sunglasses said...

This picture looks delicious!