Busy times making ice cream sundaes and waiting for spring

The following is from Gus Rancatore of Toscanini’s ice cream

A busy week here in Lafayette Square, which is the correct name for our end of Central Square.  Sunset is near 530PM.  The weather continues to be unseasonable.

Unseasonable temperatures or not, January and February are bad periods for fruit in New England.  All of us spent a month poaching pears in an attempt to come up with an interesting winter fruit flavor.  We poached pears in carmelized honey and we poached pears in white wine and red wine.  We poached pears with salt, pepper, cinnamon, star anise, cloves.  We poached pears and reduced the poaching liquid.  We got to eat a lot of pears and we made progress towards that Pear Ice Cream or Pear Sorbet.  But we’re not there yet.

This week Andy made Salt and Pepper Chocolate, which combines the obvious suspects who have been showing up for years  in chocolates and chocolate ice creams.  Its available this weekend but none of the flavors are guaranteed to be here since we turn over tubs with such frequency.  If you try it please let us know what you think about it.

For Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday we spent a lot of time reading about desserts to be eaten before the Lenten season.   Polish pawczki are the best jelly doughnuts, especially with fillings of plum and rose jam.  But we couldn’t get this to work and ended up making an ice cream inspired  by a Swedish pastry called Semla.  We lerned a lot about Scandinavian baking.

“A semla or fastlagsbulle (Swedish), laskiaispulla (Finnish) or fastelavnsbolle (Danish and Norwegian) is a traditional pastry made in various forms in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden[1] and Norway associated with Lent and especially Shrove Monday or Shrove Tuesday.
The name semla (plural, semlor) is a loan word from German Semmel, originally deriving from the Latin semilia, which was the name used for the finest quality wheat flour or semolina. In the southernmost part of Sweden (Scania) and by the Swedish-speaking population in Finland, the pastries are known as fastlagsbulle, in Denmark and Norway they are known as fastelavnsbolle (fastlagen and fastelavn being the equivalent of Shrovetide). In Scanian, originally an Eastern Danish dialect, the feast is also called fastelann. In Finnish the pastry is known as laskiaispulla, in Latvian as debesk?ka, and in Estonian as vastlakukkel.”

We also made a Special Chestnut flavor for Chef Adam Fuller’s guest evening at Stella in Boston’s South End on Monday February 27.

Looking forward the happy holiday of purim is Wednesday March 7 and we will make Hamentashen ice cream
Saturday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day.  Everyone thinks we make Guinness for our Irish customers but its fair to say they loathe the idea.  The Guinness is a flavor from Trinidd where happy people also make Guinness Pies.  For St. Pat’s we can make Bailey’s Irish Cream or something boozey.
Street cleaning in Cambridge resumes on April 1.
The MIT Flea Market returns in April.
The Central Square Farmers’ Market resumes in May.

Culture news includes two showings at the MFA of Destination Tokyo, starring Cary Grant as the captain of an American submarine.  The great Dane Clark is on board, along with John Forsythe  John Garfield and Alan Hale.  Hale survived the voyage to become The Skipper on Gilligan’s Island.

The Brattle is continuing its Bugs Bunny Festival, which for cognoscenti is actually a Chuck Jones festival.  He was the director of these classics

Friday is a concert at New England Conservatory’s glorious Jordan Hall.  It is not Free but they might take your Harvard Community Health card as student ID which would reduce the cost to $7.
“New England Conservatory is a cauldron of new ideas, some so big that they become organizations in their own right. We proudly showcase these partners.
Many of A Far Cry’s founding members were educated and met each other at NEC, and NEC’s unconducted Chamber Orchestra was one of the sources of inspiration that helped the group take shape. Now in its fifth season, A Far Cry regularly provides speakers on entrepreneurship at NEC, and collaborates closely with the NEC Preparatory School by coaching Preparatory orchestra sectionals and selecting Prep students to join the orchestra in a Jordan Hall concert.
The commissioned work on tonight’s program is by violinist/composer Kip Jones from Minnesota (in photo), who will perform as soloist along with bassist Karl Doty of A Far Cry. Inspired by the fiddling tradition, this double concerto features “some nifty cross-rhythms, bow technique, and vocalizations,” according to an early report from a member of the ensemble.
Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a?Jones Double Concerto Boston premiere?Adams Shaker Loops
Date: February 24, 2012 – 8:00:PM
Price: $27, $17 seniors, $7 students.
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall”

Sadly we are NOT serving Breakfast@TheBigTable

Share the post